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Republic of the Congo: ICRC closes office in Impfondo

09-02-2012 News Release 12/27

Brazzaville (ICRC) – The office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Impfondo, in the department of Likouala in the north-east of the Republic of the Congo, has just closed its doors.

The ICRC opened the office in December 2010, following the arrival in October 2009 of nearly 110,000 refugees from Equator province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to reunite dispersed families and to ward off any risk of food stocks being exhausted for the 100,000 residents in the area.

"Together with the Impfondo branch of the Congolese Red Cross, we are going to continue to monitor the humanitarian situation in Likouala," said Bernard Metraux, the head of the ICRC mission in the Republic of the Congo. "Thanks to the efforts of Congolese Red Cross volunteers, we have been able to accomplish what we set out to do for the people in the area."

In Likouala, a department near the River Congo, almost 100,000 people in the districts of Bétou, Liranga, Enyéllé, Dongou and Impfondo were provided with farming and fishing supplies and with cuttings of varieties of cassava that are resistant to mosaic virus disease. The virus can destroy up to 80 per cent of a harvest.

In a 5,000-square-metre field, the Congolese Red Cross is now growing almost 50,000 disease-resistant cassava cuttings – enough to plant approximately five hectares of farmland, producing food for more than 700 people.

As part of its development support for the Congolese Red Cross, the ICRC joined the French Red Cross in financing the construction of a new building in Impfondo for use as a headquarters for the departmental branch of the national Red Cross society. In Likouala, the Congolese Red Cross responds to emergencies, brings aid to needy people, reunites dispersed families, and strives to stem the spread of cassava mosaic virus disease.

For further information, please contact:
Bernard Metraux, ICRC Brazzaville, tel: +242 06679 10 10
Maria Puy Serra, ICRC Yaoundé, tel: +237 99 41 65 79