Foreign Policy Blogs

Food insecurity continues in Ivory Coast

Food insecurity continues in Ivory Coast

Food is in short supply in the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire), where factions are fighting over the disputed presidential election of November, 2010.  Incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo has refused to step down even though the United Nations, the African Union, the United States and the European Union have have recognized Alassane Ouattara as the winner.

The U.S. Agency for International Development has pledged $4.5 million to the UN World Food Program, and $7.5 million for the approximately 80,000 refugees in neighboring Liberia.  Many people in Liberia have taken refugees into their own homes, providing them with food and shelter, adding to the burden of their own nutritional needs.

Getting food to the needy remains difficult and perilous.  Movement is limited by insecurity and violence, transporters are unwilling to provide trucks or drivers, and the arriving rainy season makes access to remote areas even more treacherous.

The stand-off in the Ivory Coast goes back to 2002, where a civil war left Gbagbo in control of the south, and the rebels in control of the north.  This has led to a “complex humanitarian emergency that has disrupted the country’s food security,” according to the World Food Program.  This is particularly saddening since “during the 1990’s, Côte d’Ivoire was one of west Africa’s most stable and prosperous nations;” a beacon of West African prosperity that people spoke of as the Ivorian “miracle.”



Rishi Sidhu

Rishi Sidhu is a freelance writer and journalist based in Boston, Massachusetts. He found his love for international relations while teaching English on the Japan Exchange and Teaching program in the rural town of Agematsu in Nagano prefecture. After 2 years in Japan, Rishi traveled to India to study Hindi and pursue his journalism career. He became interested in food security when he first heard people in India complaining about rising food prices and loves the issue because of its impact on all aspects of human society; from health to politics, from environmentalism to global development.