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Liberia: emergency aid to displaced persons in Monrovia

19-06-2003 News Release 03/73

Between 18 and 19 June, the ICRC distributed almost 100 tonnes of food (maize, flour, peas, oil and salt) and non-food aid (soap, blankets, mats and plastic sheeting) to the over 14,000 people who had sought refuge in the Samuel K. Doe Stadium, Monrovia. The organization was also able to resume its work in various camps near the city where other displaced persons are living.

Working with the Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) and several local charities, the ICRC has so far identified 20,000 displaced persons living in 14 schools, churches and sports centres in Monrovia. The organization was able to get supplies to 5,000 displaced persons at an early stage and is providing several thousand litres of drinking water per day.

It was essential to improve sanitary conditions in the places where displaced persons were staying. The ICRC and the LNRCS started by building 50 latrines and repairing four public water points. Work continued with the repair of toilets and the installation of 30 more latrines. Efforts are now under way to restore contact between members of families separated by recent events: 67 unaccompanied children have been registered, of whom 12 have already been reunited with their families.

To step up activities in Liberia, the ICRC has increased the size of its Monrovia team, with seven delegates arriving from Freetown (Sierra Leone) recently. This brings the total number of staff to 130 Liberian and 15 from other countries, of whom seven are working in John F. Kennedy Hospital (which has remained open throughout the events of recent weeks) and eight at the ICRC delegation.

Over the next few days, the ICRC intends to assess the needs of displaced persons elsewhere in Monrovia, so as to respond to their needs appropriately.

 Further information:  

 Virginie De La Guardia, ICRC Monrovia, tel.: ++377 47 52 80 89  

 Juan Martinez, ICRC Geneva, tel.: ++41 79 217 32 17