1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. West Africa
  4. Côte d’Ivoire

Over 5,000 migrant workers in need of food in Guiglo

[Cote d'lvoire] Guiglo's town council compound has been transformed into a hosting site for hundreds of displaced West African nationals
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by insecurity in Cote d'Ivoire, which is most pronounced in the country's western region (IRIN-West Africa)

More than 5,000 immigrant workers, including some Ivorian displaced persons who recently moved into the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) transit centre in Guiglo, western Cote d'Ivoire, are in need of food, water and sanitation, humanitarian officials told IRIN on Friday.

"There is a break in our food pipeline and we are supplying reduced rations already to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) until we receive our next stock supply in October," a source from the World Food Programme (WFP) told IRIN.

"We are not in a position to provide sufficient food for them, and yet there are possibilities that more of them will arrive at the centre," the sources added.

Last month, the agency appealed for US $3 million to purchase food supplies for thousands of people who desperately need food assistance, particularly in western Cote d'Ivoire and in the north.

The group, comprising mainly of immigrant workers from Burkina Faso, arrived at the transit centre - with a capacity of about 500 people - from the prefecture and the municipal premises in Guiglo and are facing a huge problem of space too.

Some of them had come to these premises after being threatened or harassed by local residents in areas such as Toulepleu, Blolequin and Duekoue and their surrounding, all in western Cote d'Ivoire.

There were reports that the local population was barring them from working their fields or coffee and cocoa plantations in an effort to drive them out of the region. The new arrivals still continue, the humanitarian officials said.

In Guiglo, "The Prefect [local authority] two weeks ago met the leader of this group [migrant workers] and told them that the group had to vacate these premises by the independence celebations," Guy Noel Wamba, UNHCR head of office in Guiglo told IRIN on Friday.

"We have been meeting over the situation with the WFP and the non-governmental organisations and we realise that the situation is quite fragile," he explained.

Wamba said that the agencies and NGOs were constructing new sites for these displaced people and six of such were completed. "The shelter is ready but there are no latrines," he said. "Once this is done, we may start transferring the people," he added.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which has been organising the repatriation of displaced people from other West African countries, have received a few requests from this lot seeking repatriation. By the week ending 8 August, IOM had evacuated from Guiglo and Duekoue a total of 4,427 West African migrants to Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

Hundreds of thousands of readers trust The New Humanitarian each month for quality journalism that contributes to more effective, accountable, and inclusive ways to improve the lives of people affected by crises.

Our award-winning stories inform policymakers and humanitarians, demand accountability and transparency from those meant to help people in need, and provide a platform for conversation and discussion with and among affected and marginalised people.

We’re able to continue doing this thanks to the support of our donors and readers like you who believe in the power of independent journalism. These contributions help keep our journalism free and accessible to all.

Show your support as we build the future of news media by becoming a member of The New Humanitarian. 

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.