Our Impact in 2011
Emergency Response for Ivory Coast Refugees
Some say Haitians all became the same age after the earthquake. Families lost homes. Parents lost jobs. Children lost siblings. Entire communities were forced to start over, with virtually nothing but the pure will to survive.
The vast majority of those who fled were women and children. Some sought refuge in whatever space they could find, including public areas, schools and even outside. Other families found shelter in newly formed refugee camps, while some stayed in host communities.
The American Refugee Committee has worked in the troubled region since 1996, with programs in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. We’ve offered aid in Liberia for 15 years, and today, we help refugees and communities still recovering in the aftermath of the country’s civil war. With a program already in place in Liberia, our organization was poised to help Ivoirian refugees.
Generous Liberians stepped up to become host families to the refugees, even though they did not have many resources themselves, reported Carrie Hasselback, ARC’s Liberia country director. “Liberians are not new to displacement many have been refugees themselves in Ivory Coast, and they see this as a way to pay them back.”
We helped provide aid to both refugees and host communities. We built shelters for refugees who had virtually nothing. And we also provided shelter kits to hundreds of Liberian families who were hosting refugees so they could improve or expand their homes. Kits includes tarps, ropes and basic tools to improve shelters, as well as essentials like buckets, clean water containers and soap. In addition, we ran a cash-for-work program, employing area residents to rehabilitate and build community structures in host communities.
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