Despite the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, the United States continues to provide needed assistance to the people of the divided country. This aid includes an unprecedented commitment to combatting the HIV/AIDS virus through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The United States Government remains the largest contributer to the United Nations peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, funding 27% of their operations. Refugees in Côte d’Ivoire and West Africa recievedhousing, medical care, and education. Through its Democracy & Human Rights Fund, the United States has provided Ivoirian organizations support for projects that will promote women’s involvement in the political process and fight against the dangerous practice of female genital mutilation. The Ambassador also offers small grants to local organizations working to improve their communities.
Aid for HIV/AIDS in CI
The Government of Côte d’Ivoire provides strong leadership despite the country’s prolonged political and military crisis. In 2001, the government created a specific ministry to coordinate the national HIV/AIDS response and mobilize national and international resources. Fourteen other ministries also include sector specific HIV-related responses in their missions.
The U.S. Government (USG) is the largest donor in the HIV sector and, therefore, plays an important role in supporting Côte d’Ivoire’s comprehensive national HIV/AIDS response. That role includes:
- Supporting activities to build human capacity to support an expanded civil society response in consultation with the government and development partners;
- Ensuring that sufficient human resources are available to achieve national prevention,
treatment and care goals and sustain program services; and
- Promoting long-term sustainability of quality HIV services by effectively engaging the
Recognizing the global HIV/AIDS pandemic as one of the greatest health challenges of our time, President George W. Bush announced the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (the Emergency Plan) in 2003 — the largest international health initiative in history by one nation to address a single disease. Under the leadership of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, USG agencies implement the Emergency Plan, working collaboratively as strong, interagency country teams under the direction of the U.S. Ambassador. These teams capitalize on the expertise of each USG agency and leverage partnerships with host governments, multilateral institutions, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector to implement effective programs for combating HIV/AIDS and ensure efficient use of USG resources.
Côte d’Ivoire is one of 15 focus countries of the Emergency Plan which collectively represent at least 50 percent of HIV infections worldwide. Under the Emergency Plan, Côte d’Ivoire received $24.3 million in FY2004 to support a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care program. In FY2005, the U.S. is committing more than $43.9 million to support Côte d’Ivoire’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.
Critical Interventions for HIV/AIDS Prevention
- Supported Mayor’s Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing Centers (VCT) in Port Bouet.
Critical Interventions for HIV/AIDS Care
- Helped provide meeting space to HIV-positive peersupport groups, and multiple community groups. The space also served as a center for outreach work to spread HIV prevention and care messages through the poor community of Port Bouet.
Critical Interventions for HIV/AIDS Treatment
- Provided antiretroviral treatment to adults, pregnant women and children in some of the poorest and most densely populated areas in Cote d’Ivoire.
- Provided highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in conjunction with other partners to hundreds of individuals.
Emergency Aid to CI
USAID’S Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
Access to basic services in Côte d’Ivoire has continually deteriorated since the conflict began in 2002, particularly in the northern and western regions. Services are unavailable or unaffordable due to the lack of service providers and infrastructure as well as a declining economic environment that has led to increased poverty, resulting in acute needs in the areas of water and sanitation, health, and food security. Since 2003, USAID/OFDA has provided more than $5 million to support the provision of humanitarian assistance in Côte d’Ivoire. In FY 2005, USAID/OFDA contributed more than $2 million in programs to address humanitarian needs in the country and provided an additional $626,250 for regional projects.
Water And Sanitation
According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), an estimated 60 percent of the population lacks access to safe water and more than 54 percent of the population does not have adequate sanitation systems. With a $500,000 grant from USAID/OFDA, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is repairing water pumps and installing latrines in 255 villages in the region around Man. IRC is also forming water and hygiene committees for pump maintenance and hygiene promotion. USAID/OFDA also provided $397,000 to Action Contre La Faim (ACF) to implementsimilar water pump repairs for more than 200 villages in Korhogo Department in the north.
The provision of basic social services is very low and continues to be a major issue of concern. Access to healthcare has significantly decreased, especially in the north and west, during the three years of conflict. The U.N. World Health Organization reports that the majority of medical personnel have relocated, fled, or are unable to go to work due to insecurity, making the goal of creating self-sufficiency in meeting basic healthcare difficult. With a grant of $363,000 from USAID/OFDA, Save the Children/UK (SC/UK) operated mobile health clinics in the area west and south of Guiglo to provide vaccinations, pre-natal care, mother-child health, and general primary care, serving up to 60 patients per day. Unfortunately, SC/UK’s office and equipment were destroyed during the violence in Guiglo on January 17, 2006, and SC/UK’s staff evacuated, halting implementation of the grant.
Continued political instability has seriously affected food security in Côte d’Ivoire, particularly in the west. USAID/OFDA has provided $400,000 to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to assist more than 11,000 households with seeds, tools, and fertilizer and is working with local farm groups to produce and multiply quality seeds. USAID/OFDA has also provided $200,000 to the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) to help establish a food security surveillance mechanism to assist in tracking food security countrywide. WFP provides food aid to approximately 700,000 people in Côte d’Ivoire. However, following the recent violence in Guiglo, WFP has stopped operations.
Internally Displaced Persons (Idps)
To help meet the needs of the more than 500,000 people internally displaced in Côte d’Ivoire, USAID/OFDA has provided $178,090 to OCHA to support an IDP and protection advisor, who has spearheaded the creation of a protection network composed of U.N. agencies, NGOs, the U.N. Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), and the International Committee of the Red Cross, as an observer. The protection network aims to establish a mechanism to enable U.N. agencies and international organizations to respond more systematically and coherently to the protection needs of IDPs and vulnerable Ivoirians against violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.