Israel to aid refugees from Ivory Coast

Israeli relief agency IsraAID is to send medical aid to Liberia in an effort to help refugees fleeing the civil war in the Ivory Coast. Over one million people have been forced from their homes in the Ivory Coast as …

Israeli relief agency IsraAID is to send medical aid to Liberia in an effort to help refugees fleeing the civil war in the Ivory Coast.

Over one million people have been forced from their homes in the Ivory Coast as bitter fighting between rebels and supporters of the country’s president Laurent Gbagbo has intensified. Since January some 150,000 people have crossed into neighboring Liberia, and the pace has intensified in the last few weeks.

“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 possessions and are being forced to live in makeshift shelters with no basic human essentials,” says Shachar Zahavi, director and founder of IsraAID, an umbrella aid organization made up on 17 NGOs offering assistance to communities in developing countries.

“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,” he adds.

IsraAID plans to send relief items and provide medical care to the tens of thousands of refugees now in Liberia. With the rainy season due soon, Zahavi said that speed is essential.

Fighting began in the Ivory Coast in November following disputed presidential elections.