By Peter Luckow
In recent months, more than 170,000 Ivorian refugees have fled into southeastern Liberia, home to PIH's partner project, Tiyatien Health.
Yesterday, Dr. Raj Panjabi of Tiyatien Health wrote an urgent call to action in a Huffington Post Op-Ed, which was co-authored by Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee:
Writing, respectively, as a doctor and peace activist who have worked on the front lines of war, it is clear what's needed now is justice and aid. The international community should support justice on both sides of the border for the women and children who have suffered physical and sexual violence.
But, justice for the victims also requires meeting their basic needs. The international community must fill the UN's current $300 million emergency humanitarian appeal for food, shelter and medical assistance for the 170,000 Ivorian refugees in Liberia and the other million displaced within Ivory Coast. Thus far, only a fraction of the funds have been pledged. But individual Americans can do something too. Combined together, even small donations ($20 or $50), critical in relief efforts in places like Haiti and Japan, will help Ivorian refugees like Marie and her girls receive needed shelter, food and medicine. Simply put, dollars will save more lives.
Tiyatien Health is bolstering the health system in Grand Gedeh County to treat and care for the growing number of refugees.Their work was recently profiled on PRI's The World radio broadcast and the PBS Need to Know blog.
Peter Luckow is the Director of Operations at Tiyatien Health.