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Rwanda: new emergency appeal reaches 95 million Swiss Francs

28-06-1995 News Release 26

 The initial budget estimate for ICRC activities in Rwanda in 1995 was 66 million Swiss francs (56.4 million US dollars). The ICRC has decided to increase this amount to Sfr 95 million ($81.2 million), mainly because the number of detainees needing assistance has risen far beyond last year's estimations.  

 Lives at risk in the prisons  

There are now over 47,000 people detained in Rwanda. Conditions in the prisons are appalling and have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of inmates. The ICRC launched a large-scale assistance programme for detainees earlier this year, providing them with food and medical care and improving hygiene. The ICRC is also working with the authorities and the United Nations to set up a new temporary detention centre at Nsinda, erecting tents to house detainees and the camp's medical and sanitary infrastructure and providing medical supplies, cooking equipment and food.

 Health centres rehabilitated  

Under the ICRC's project delegation programme, the German and French Red Cross Societies have begun rehabilitation work on 15 health centres which were damaged in 1994. These centres provide health care for some 450,000 people. Projects to repair water supply systems in the Kibuye, Gisenyi and Ruhengeri areas, carried out by the American, Australian and Swedish National Societies respectively, will continue until the end of the year and will benefit more than 300,000 people.

 Food aid for 400,000 people  

Food distributions are planned for civilians returning to their homes after the closure of the camps near Gikongoro and for vulnerable local residents. Some 400,000 people will be covered by this programme. The ICRC is also planning to supply around 30,000 families with hoes, bean seed and sweet potato cuttings in time for the next planting season in September.

 3,000 families reunited  

Since April 1994 over 920,000 Red Cross messages have been handled by the ICRC in cooperation with National Red Cross Societies. The effort to trace the families of unaccompanied minors continues, with 70,000 children already registered and 18,000 tracing requests filed by parents hoping to find their children. So far around 3,000 families have been reunited.

There are currently 1,550 local staff and 150 expatriates working in Rwanda, including 35 from the National Red Cross Societies of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA.