Côte d’Ivoire has a history of aid volatility linked to its rumbling political crisis, and aid declined significantly after a failed coup in 2001 degenerated into rebel uprisings in the North and West of the country, that led to the destruction of much of the public service infrastructure in these regions. Despite a peace deal with the main rebel group in 2007, the political landscape has remained uncertain with elections, scheduled for October 2006 repeatedly postponed.
Aid peaks in 2002 and 2009 reflect substantial debt rescheduling of US$1.2 billion in 2002 and US$3.1 billion in 2009. In real terms, aid fell to low levels between 2003 and 2007 before tripling in 2008.
Humanitarian aid, in contrast to other official development assistance (ODA), has grown relatively steadily from a low of US$13.6 million in 2000 to a peak of US$104.8 million in 2008. Humanitarian aid fell however in 2009 to just US$34.8 million.
The five leading donors for the period 2002-2009 have provided 50.0% of the total humanitarian aid with the European Commission (EC) having provided by far the largest share at 23.7% of the total. In 2008 the EC gave a relatively large contribution of US$71.0 million, which included a US$56 million special ‘post crisis rehabilitation programme’ disbursement. The EC’s contribution fell by US$63.9 million in 2009 reflecting in part a transition from the EC’s humanitarian to development funding mechanisms. Political developments in 2010 however look likely to reverse Côte d’Ivoire’s transition from a humanitarian to development funding recipient.
When elections were finally held in October 2010, they led to a major political crisis where the incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo has refused to cede power despite the electoral commission declaring his rival, Alassane Ouatta, to have won an election run-off in November, with 54.1% of the vote.
The political deadlock has spilled over into violence on the streets of the economic capital Abijan, and in the West of the country. Tens of thousands of people have fled. The United Nations (UN) estimates that around 20,000 people are internally displaced, but difficult for humanitarian agencies to access. A further 25,000 – 30,000 have fled to neighbouring countries, principally Liberia, where a major humanitarian operation is already underway.
The United Nations (UN) issued two emergency appeals on 14th and 15th January requesting a combined total of US$87.8 million – US$32.8 requested for Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea and Mali, and US$55.0 million requested for Liberia.
The Côte d’Ivoire Regional Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan (EHAP) is designed not only to meet the needs of the existing displaced, but also to reinforce emergency response capacities in anticipation of a potential major escalation of the crisis. Planning figures anticipate a possible two million people could be affected.