It’s hard to understate how rough this has been for Liberia. There are some 215 Liberian villages that are currently hosting refugees, often without the means to do so. In the first weeks of the conflict, local families fed the displaced with their own resources and food stocks. Now, the U.N. High Commission for Refugees is providing assistance to both the refugee and local populations. But it’s indicative of just what a stress this refugee influx is that almost five times as many Liberians are malnourished as Ivorian refugees.
Now it’s crunch time to make sure that the difficult situation doesn’t get any harder. It’s rainy season in West Africa, which means that roads are increasingly difficult to access. Food, medical, and other daily supplies arrive more slowly and they’re distributed with even more difficulty. Inconveniently, as the logistics get more complicated, the needs also grow. As a July 8 situation report from UNICEF explains, “Continuous rain is also increasing the need for clothes, blankets and mosquito nets which are required urgently for immediate distribution to children and women.”
Originally posted at www.elizabeth-dickinson.com