IsraAID, the Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid, with more than 17 private organizations offering assistance to communities in developing countries, announced Sunday that it is preparing to send aid to refugees fleeing the civil war in Ivory Coast, which broke out following November's disputed presidential elections. Increased fighting this past week has forced more than a million people from their homes. An estimated 150,000 people crossed into Liberia since January and the pace has grown in the past few weeks.
IsraAid Director Shachar Zahavi said, “Our partners on the ground are reporting that the conditions in the Ivory Coast and in the newly formed camps on Liberia’s border are deteriorating. People are crossing the border with almost no positions and are being forced to live in makeshift shelters with no basic human essentials.” He added, “The poor hosting community in Liberia has been assisting the refugees for months now, but in recent weeks the influx of people crossing the border has become a stress to the local host community. We are currently focusing on the needs so to distribute much needed relief items and provide medical care to the tens of thousands before the rainy season reaches the region and would make relief efforts more complicated.”