Tuesday 5 April 2011
For further information
Penny Sims: PSims@redcross.org.uk, 0207 877 7044 or out of hours 07659 145095
The British Red Cross has launched an appeal in response to the growing humanitarian crisis in Ivory Coast, which has spilled across into Liberia and other bordering countries.
Around 1million people are estimated to be displaced within Ivory Coast, with some people trapped in their homes without access to food, water or medical care. Ivorian refugees are fleeing to Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana. More than 100,000 Ivorians have fled into Liberia alone. In some areas, refugees are doubling the populations of villages.
Barry Armstrong, British Red Cross disaster response manager, said:
“This dramatic influx of people is putting a real strain on villages near the border. There isn’t enough food; village wells are running dry and we are already seeing some outbreaks of diarrhoea and skin diseases, which is deeply worrying.”
“The communities along the border want to support the Ivorians – many Liberians were taken in by families in Ivory Coast when they fled violence in their own country – but without support from the international community the situation will deteriorate rapidly.”
To donate to the British Red Cross Ivory Coast Crisis Appeal, go to: www.redcross.org.uk/ivorycoastcrisis or call 0845 054 7202.
The British Red Cross has also allocated £350,000 from their disaster fund to provide immediate assistance. The Disaster Fund enables rapid deployment of aid after disasters, and recently helped provide emergency relief in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
The Red Cross is also working to provide 100,000 refugees and host communities in Liberia with water and sanitation, and other essential items. Hundreds of volunteers are currently being trained in disease control methods, wells are being repaired and a water treatment plant has been set up in the border village of Buutuo, providing 75,000 litres of clean water a day.
The Ivory Coast Red Cross and ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) have been responding the conflict began, and are concentrating on providing emergency healthcare, water and sanitation, emergency shelter, and distributing relief.
For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk or follow us on twitter www.twitter.com/britishredcross
Notes to editors
For more interviews, pictures, and more information, please contact:
Mark South 020 7877 7042 firstname.lastname@example.org
Penny Sims 020 7877 7044 email@example.com
The Ivory Coast Crisis Appeal will cover numerous countries including those currently affected and those potentially affected in the future. In the unlikely event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters either overseas or here in the UK. For more information visit www.redcross.org.uk .
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives.