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ICRC resumes relief assistance in rural Liberia

13-03-2006 News Release

 Monrovia (ICRC) – As thousand of Liberians displaced by years of war continue returning to their communities, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has this year resumed its relief assistance to them by distributing food, seeds, tools and household items to meet their basic needs. In-line with its humanitarian mission, the ICRC's continues to help the most vulnerable people affected by war and its effects even in the aftermath.

Since the beginning of November 2005, the organization has delivered assistance to 40,000 households in Southern Nimba, Lofa, Bomi, Gbarpulo, River Cess, Bong and Grand Cape Mount counties. Each household has received 25 kg of food-rice, 5 kg of beans, 25 kg of rice seeds, 10g of bitterball, okra and pepper seeds for planting. In total 40'000 tools including hoes, cutlasses, axes and essential household item-kits comprising blankets, buckets, clothing and kitchen sets have been delivered to the most needy communities.

Lofa county was particularly destroyed during the war and is presently home to the most vulnerable populations. The ICRC therefore considers this area a priority because the returning population, in most cases, come back empty handed to places where the hosting communities are unable to support them.

According to the ICRC's Relief Coordinator, Martin Bissig, " It's expected that until the end of the year 2006, thousands of returnees will go back to their villages in order to re-establish a living. Starting from scratch, they have to rebuild their houses, clear the fields from the bush and search daily food at the same time. "

Throughout the dry season while the regions are accessible, the ICRC will continue to distribute seeds and food, and at the same time closely monitor the progress of the population towards sustaining itself.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Robin Waudo, ICRC Monrovia, tel. +231 6 528 089  

 or visit our website: www.icrc.org