Refugee camp in Liberia, along the Ivory Coast border
So far, Oxfam has flown approximately 50 tons of relief supplies -- enough for around 70,000 people -- from the UK to Liberia. The aid is in response to the escalating humanitarian crisis as people continue to flee the political violence that continues to affect Ivory Coast.
Oxfam airlifted water tanks and drilling equipment, together with essential supplies such as latrines, to help provide clean water and safe sanitation to the increasing number of refugees fleeing to villages along the Ivory Coast-Liberia border.
As of 1 April, nearly 77,000 people had crossed into Liberia but this number continues to rise as insecurity worsens.
“People are arriving in Liberia with next to nothing and are being forced to live in makeshift shelter with little in the way of essential shelter, water or food,” said Chals Wontewe, Oxfam’s Country Director in Liberia.
“Poor communities in Liberia have been helping refugees for months now, but the recent influx of refugees has stretched their meager resources to the limit.”
Oxfam supplies were transported overland to Nimba county and Grand Gedeh in the east of Liberia where camps are being prepared for an anticipated quarter of a million Ivory Coast refugees.
The crisis in the region began almost four months ago following the contested presidential election in Ivory Coast, which has caused months of instability, abuse and violent clashes in the country, leaving hundreds dead and thousands displaced from their homes.
Oxfam is calling on the international community to pay greater attention to the worsening refugee crisis in Ivory Coast and the region, and calling on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to push donors to fund the aid response to the crisis.
Oxfam has been working in Liberia for more than a decade.
Read more about Oxfam's response to the Ivory Coast/Liberia crisis.
Photo: Steve Cockburn/Oxfam