Humanitarian Aid for Cote d'Ivoire
Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Ranking Member House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs
Congressman John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairwoman House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs
Congressman Norman D. Dicks (D-WA), Ranking Member House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations
Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), Chairwoman House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Speaker
Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations
Senator William Thad Cochran (R-MS), Vice Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriations
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member Senate Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriations
Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA), Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman Senate Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-IN), Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Majority Leader U.S. Senate
I am writing to urge you to provide humanitarian support in response to the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire (also known as the Ivory Coast). The elections in November 2010 were meant to bring stability to the war-torn country; instead the country has experienced a new wave of violence, resulting in at least one thousand deaths in Abidjan and throughout the country. Human rights groups have documented at least one million internally displaced people and more than 100,000 Ivorian refugees in neighboring countries.
Once known as the ‘Paris of West Africa’, Côte d’Ivoire is now a shadow of its former self as a result of years of political unrest. The country’s infrastructure has deteriorated to the point where healthcare services are no longer available in many parts of the country. The population continues to suffer as it does not have regular access to supplies of food and water. Most alarming are the numerous reports of women and children who have been victims of sexual abuse and rape.
The country is in dire need of humanitarian assistance, particularly with regards to refugee protection and assistance, health system reconstruction, peace and reconciliation efforts, food security initiatives, and others. I understand that Congressman Payne has authored House Resolution 85 and I encourage you to pass this resolution as well as similar legislation. My understanding is that such an effort would not require new funding and I would ask that existing funding for humanitarian aid overseas be released to support this effort.
The country is slowly emerging from this conflict and it will need help from the United States and the international community. There is a real opportunity to bring stability and rule of law to Côte d’Ivoire. Not only will this help the country, but it will also be beneficial to the West African region as a whole. Côte d’Ivoire is a key player in the region and any instability in the country directly impacts the neighboring countries, namely Liberia, Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.
Côte d’Ivoire must be rebuilt in order for democracy and stability to evolve in West Africa. The United States, an image of hope and democracy to the rest of the world, should play a key role in the reconstruction of the country. It will not only benefit the people of Côte d’Ivoire but will also reinforce the United States’ standing as an advocate for democracy, justice, and equality.
Thank you for your support.
Please consider donating to the following organizations. They have been selected for having a strong presence on the ground and for leading activities proven to have a long-term impact.
International Rescue Committee: Click here
Save the Children: Click here
Please note, this petition does not necessarily reflect the views of any of the mentioned organizations.