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Guinea-Bissau: food and seed distributed to farmers in north-west

05-06-2008 News Release 08/95

Dakar (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has begun distributing food supplies and rice and groundnut seed to over 20,000 people living near the town of São Domingos in north-western Guinea- Bissau, an area where poverty has been aggravated by the low rainfall of 2007.

The recipients of the aid make their living largely by gathering cashew nuts and growing rice and ground nuts as cash crops. " Guinea-Bissau suffered poor harvests last year and people did not have enough food to tide them over, " said Juan Coderque, head of the organization's delegation in Senegal.

The ICRC distributions, which are being carried out with the help of volunteers from the Red Cross Society of Guinea-Bissau, are part of ICRC activities to assist people in an area that hosts some 8,000 Senegalese refugees and where there are a wide range of problems such as water shortages and inadequate access to health care.

The ICRC has helped repair and upgrade the water-supply system in São Domingos and has offered aid, when needed, to the town's health-care facility. It has also helped revive market-gardening businesses run by groups of women. In March 2006, a similar operation was carried out by the ICRC and the Guinea-Bissau Red Cross following armed clashes in the area.

  For further information, please contact:
  Gianni Volpin, ICRC Dakar, tel : +221 33 869 13 69
  Alfa Djalo, ICRC Bissau, tel :+ 245 661 53 43
  Maurice Grundbacher, ICRC Ziguinchor, tel : +221 77 644 34 57