Liberia: Agricultural assistance for 30,000 families
22-01-2004 News Release 04/05
This week the ICRC launched a major agricultural programme designed to benefit 30,000 families (some 150,000 people) over the coming six months.
In the first phase, 10,000 families in Grand Gedeh and 5,000 families in Lofa counties will receive axes, machetes, hoes, rakes, shovels and other tools. The same households will each be given 20 kg of rice seed and assorted vegetable seed in time for the planting season in April.
The purpose of this programme is to enable residents and returnees to earn a living and thereby to help restore their dignity. For many of them, this will be the first time in years that they have been able to sow and harvest their fields.
In Grand Gedeh, over 80 per cent of the original population is now back in the villages. In Lofa, one of Liberia's traditional breadbaskets, less than 20 per cent of the population has so far returned and most fields have not been cultivated for the past three years. Surveys of further agricultural needs are currently under way in other counties, including Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Grand Bassa and Sinoe.
Since the war ended in early August, the focus of ICRC assistance programmes has shifted from the displaced and resident population in and around Monrovia to residents and returnees in the country's 15 counties.
In addition to its agricultural assistance programme, the ICRC is currently involved in activities to protect civilians and people deprived of their freedom, restore family links, assist internally displaced persons and other vulnerable residents, improve access to safe drinking water, provide medical care and spread knowledge of international humanitarian law. The ICR C also provides support for and cooperates with the Liberia National Red Cross Society.
For further information, please contact: Reto Stocker, ICRC Monrovia, tel. ++ 377 47 556 588