Map of Ivory Coast refugee locations. Click map to download pdf.

The UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has released a new map showing the approximate numbers and locations of refugees from the Ivory Coast. The numbers continue to be high, particularly on the western edge of the country as people continue to be wary of returning. I was struck not only by the high numbers of refugees, but also by the distances some of them had to traverse and that the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) within Cote d’Ivoire.

The ELCA is working with its companions, the Lutheran Church in Liberia, Lutheran Development Service (LDS) in Liberia and the ACT Alliance to help those fleeing from the violence. To date the ELCA has allocated $60,000 towards the ACT appeal to meet the needs of the 175,000+ refugees in Liberia. It has also allocated $10,125 to help the Lutheran Church in Liberia rebuild part of the church’s Lutheran Training Center which was damaged by the war and a severe windstorm.

Hopefully as the new government begins to take form Ivorian citizens will begin to see in their country fertile soil in which to plant their trust and hopes. And perhaps the helping hand shown by neighboring countries may continue in a tradition of good will and friendly relations.

Gifts to ELCA International Disaster Response allow the church to respond globally in times of need. Donate now.