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Guinea Bissau: aid for isolated north-west

14-11-2008 News Release 08/206

Dakar (ICRC) – Working with the Red Cross Society of Guinea-Bissau, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has begun a series of aid distributions near São Domingos in the north-west of the country.

In an operation to follow up Red Cross distributions of food aid last May to 20,000 people in the same area, the most vulnerable of those communities will be supplied with rice huskers, groundnut grinders, fishing nets, motor boats and bicycles in the coming weeks.

This isolated part of Guinea-Bissau, which is temporary home to some 8,000 Senegalese refugees from Casamance, faces numerous difficulties such as weak infrastructure. It has also been hard hit by rising food prices.

The latest operation is intended to help kickstart economic activity in the area and relieve its isolation. " What we're trying to do is give the poorest sectors of the population a long-term boost, " explained Maurice Grundbacher, head of the ICRC's Ziguinchor sub-delegation in Casamance. " Our hope is that they will achieve self-sufficiency in terms of food. "

The current operation is being coordinated by the Ziguinchor sub-delegation.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Dakar, tel. +221 33 869 13 69 or  + 221 77 529 71 45  

 Maurice Grundbacher, ICRC Ziguinchor, tel. +221 77 644 34 57