Côte d'Ivoire is located on the southern coast of West Africa. After its independence in 1960, the country enjoyed relative political and socio-economic stability.
However, since the 1990s, the country has lived through severe economic crsis and armed conflicts. The unrest lasted many decades and by the time the civil war ended in 2011, nearly one million people had been forced to leave their homes.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Côte d’Ivoire since 1971.
Economic growth in Côte d'Ivoire in recent years has not benefitted everyone equally, leaving many people undernourished, especially in the rural areas of the country. In 2020, 11% of people in Côte d'Ivoire were not able to get or produce enough food and 22% of all children under five were chronically malnourished.
Rural communities, particularly in the west and north of Côte d'Ivoire, are disproportionately more affected by, and vulnerable to, malnutrition.
Although Côte d’Ivoire made some advancement in efforts to eliminate child labour, many children are still exposed to severe forms of child labor. They sometimes work in the harvesting of cocoa and coffee.
Children, who work in cocoa production, are often deprived of adequate schooling and exposed to different types of risks and hazards, including exposure to pesticides, insect and snake bites, machete wounds, fatigue and back problems.
While there has been a significant reduction in poverty, not everyone has benefitted and deep inequalities persist.
Income inequality has increased rapidly due to fluctuating cocoa prices on the world market, as well as the impact of climate change on agriculture.
This now threatens the livelihoods of rural families in particular. Children and women from these families are severely disadvantaged.