Etat nutritionnel des enfants réfugiés : Synthèses des cas desLibériens en Guinée et en Côte-d'Ivoire et des Somaliens en Ethiopie

Kuakuvi Gbenyon


Refugees constitute a rather special category of the population. For this sub-group of the entire population, a problem of definition is raised which unfortunately has not been addressed by the different studies devoted to the refugee population.

When we consider the nutritional status of refugee children aged between 0 and 5 years, it appears that it is of the most precarious ones. The syntheses made show that one of the factors which would favour the maintenance of a satisfactory nutritional status for the populations, following social unresis the integration of the refugee population into the indigenous population without the construction of refugee camps.

Thus, Liberian refugee children in Guinea and in Côte d'Ivoire in 1990-1992, who are integrated into the indigenous population, had a satisfactory nutritional status identical to that of the indigenous population, whereas those Somali refugees in Ethiopia in 1988-1989, hosted in refugee camps, had a poor nutritional status when compared to that of the indigenous population. The study shows that efficient strategies of refugee management and improvement of their nutritional status especially that of children might comprise:

  • the regular and complete distribution of food ratios comprising foods rich in vitamin C and,
  • the extension of makeshift food and therapy programmes for a better coverage of the refugee population

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