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Guinea: ICRC aids thousands of displaced

08-02-2001 News Release 01/05

The ICRC has provided food and other assistance to over 53,000 of the 70,000 Guinean displaced persons registered by the organization in recent weeks. The people affected come mainly from the areas near the Sierra Leonean and Liberian borders, where fighting is taking place between the Guinean army and various armed opposition groups. Most of the displaced are staying with host families in the country’s interior.

Working with the Red Cross Society of Guinea, the ICRC started its programme of aid distribution at the end of January, assisting over 7,000 people in Dabola (Faranah prefecture) and Beyla (Nzérékoré prefecture). In addition, food and soap were distributed to 6,800 people in Dinguiraye (Faranah prefecture). The ICRC is helping almost 20,000 people who have taken refuge in Kissidougou (Faranah prefecture) and the surrounding countryside. The organization has also provided food aid to over 12,400 displaced persons in Kouroussa (Kankan prefecture) and nearly 6,300 in Nzérékoré, in the south-east of the country.

The number of displaced persons is still increasing, with civilians continuing to evacuate villages in the combat zones. The ICRC is registering newly displaced people and plans to distribute further aid in the next few days. A system is being set up to restore ties between family members separated by the conflict. The staff involved will be concentrating on conveying Red Cross messages between members of scattered families and reuniting parents separated from their children.

The ICRC delegation in Guinea has become fully operational this year. The delegation headquarters is in Conakry, with offices in Kissidougou and Nzérékoré, and two more schedule d to open shortly in Kankan and Kindia. The organization currently has 15 expatriates in Guinea. The number will eventually rise to 25. Aiding displaced people will remain one of the ICRC’s top priorities.