In 2002, the year that Action Against Hunger began its work in the Ivory Coast, the country was split between the rebel-held North and the government-controlled South. Health workers had fled the North, so access to basic health services was severely limited, and the only relief was provided by humanitarian workers. The situation gradually improved until 2010, when a disputed presidential election caused a serious national crisis and led to a civil war in 2011.
While the Ivory Coast is agriculturally rich in crops like cocoa, cotton, and cashew nut, post-election violence disrupted critical planting and harvesting times for farmers. Crop deficits, trade embargoes, and widespread poverty made the lean season—the routine period of food scarcity—especially difficult in 2011. As many people struggled to make ends meet for their own families, host families in the Ivory Coast and in neighboring Liberia had the added burden of caring for the hundreds of thousands of Ivorians who had been displaced by the conflict.
Through crisis such as conflict and food scarcity, Action Against Hunger has served vulnerable populations in the Ivory Coast for over a decade. We have treated thousands of children suffering from deadly malnutrition, trained and mobilized community health workers, responded to emergencies in the wake of violence, and supported the country’s crippled public health system.
Since April 2011, the country has returned to a period of relative stability, with a new government in place. But there is still much to be done to restore normalcy for people of Ivory Coast. We will continue to offer support through our lifesaving programs, and help the new government to build its capacity to provide health services for its citizens.