A political crisis in Ivory Coast began after Laurent Gbagbo, the President of Ivory Coast since 2000, was proclaimed the winner of the Ivorian election of 2010, the first election in the country in 10 years. The opposition candidate, Alassane Ouattara, and a number of countries, organisations and leaders worldwide claimed Ouattara had won the election. After months of attempted negotiation and sporadic violence, the crisis escalated and citizens fled to Liberia to escape death.

Hygiene is notoriously difficult to attain in refugee camps where large numbers of people live in close quarters. Making this priority to maintaining the overall health of the refugees, UNHCR and CARE requested three containers of Global Soap equaling 480,000 bars to benefit 25,680 Ivorian refugees living in three refugee camps spread across two counties, namely Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties.

Before the commencement of the distribution process each day, a session on personal hygiene and proper hand washing was conducted for the beneficiaries present at each distribution site on proper use of soap. Emphasis is laid hand washing after using the latrines, before preparing food and before eating. The messages stressed on the importance of proper hand washing with soap to help alleviate health problems associated with poor hygiene. Our colleagues at CARE will now monitor the impact the soap is having on transmittable disease in the camp.

The arrangement has been so successful that there is an additional request for two more containers in 2014.