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Sierra Leone: Helping women to cope

24-01-2002 News Release 02/04

The ICRC has concluded its 2001 vegetable farming programme for women in the Koinadugu, Bombali, Bo, Kenema, Pujehun and Tonkolili districts of Sierra Leone. The project, which began as an experiment in 2000, initially focused on associations and groups of women most severely affected by the long years of fighting in the country.

This second phase targeted individual households so that more women outside formal associations could benefit from the project. Over 60,000 women received aid in the form of imported and local vegetable seeds, a hoe, a shovel, a metal bucket, a machete and a wheelbarrow. The programme also included a training course involving a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and agronomists from the ICRC and the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society.

During an open day held at the ICRC delegation in Freetown, the publication of the ICRC study entitled " Women facing War " and the community-based vegetable farming project were highlighted as examples of activities for women relevant to the Sierra Leone context. " We focus particularly on women in recognition of the special protection afforded them by the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols " , explained the ICRC's communication delegate on that occasion.