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Solomon Islands: Aid for the displaced on Guadalcanal

16-06-1999 News Release 99/24

In view of the internal tension on Guadalcanal, which has caused large numbers of civilians to flee their homes, three ICRC delegates have gone to the island. On 14 and 15 June they supplied food and hygiene items for people who have taken refuge in six reception centres run by the Solomon Islands Red Cross. Further distributions are scheduled during the coming days for people taken in by relatives. The delegates are also helping the National Society to set up a system of registration for the displaced.

Some 7,500 people have now flocked to the capital Honiara. Of these about 2,500 have already left Guadalcanal for Malaita or other nearby islands, sometimes with the aid of the local Red Cross, 2,000 are sheltering in the National Society's six reception centres and 3,000 others are staying with relatives.

The ICRC is maintaining its contacts with all the parties concerned with a view to gaining access to all those in need of assistance, especially people in areas cut off from food supplies.

The Solomon Islands are covered by the ICRC's regional delegation in the Philippines, which also has offices in Sydney, Australia, and Suva, Fiji.