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Liberia: New ICRC tracing campaign

08-12-2004 News Release No. 04/144

The ICRC launched a new tracing campaign today in cooperation with the Liberia National Red Cross Society.

Entitled “Help us come home,” the campaign will use posters and booklets showing pictures of 343 Liberian children registered by the ICRC in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone to help to reunite the children with their families.

The materials will be displayed and distributed in markets, hospitals, schools and refugee camps in Liberia and surrounding countries. Awareness-raising activities, such as a play performed by members of the Liberian Red Cross, will clarify the purpose of the campaign and the use of the printed materials.

ICRC delegations and National Red Cross Societies throughout West Africa have joined forces with other humanitarian organizations and community members to trace the relatives of Liberian children separated from their families during the civil war. In Liberia alone, over 200 National Society volunteers are involved in tracing activities.

Since the civil war ended, the ICRC has stepped up its tracing work in various regions of Liberia. Since 2002 it has already run four campaigns similar to the one launched today. Because of these efforts, more than 600 Liberian children are now back with their families. The ICRC is currently handling some 1,500 cases and an average of 15 children are rejoining their families every week.

In 2003, the ICRC reunited 2,640 people – most of them children – with their families worldwide.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Jean-Yves Clemenzo, ICRC Monrovia, tel. ++231 6 528 089  

 Marco Jiménez, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 2271