Update No. 96/2 on ICRC activities in Sierra Leone
26-03-1996 Operational Update
The latest on relief operations in progress
No humanitarian agency has been present in this government-held town of 5,500 people (according to a recent census) since end-1993, when security considerations forced the ICRC to withdraw.
In January the ICRC carried out its first evaluation since that time, and last weekend made a specifically nutritional survey, which showed a high level of malnutrition. As a result, the institution has now organized an airlift using a helicopter, marked with the red cross emblem and flying from Kenema, where expatriates are again staffing the ICRC's office. The airlift started on 20 March: it is scheduled to last four days in all and deliver about 40 tonnes of food. This food was supplied to the ICRC by the World Food Programme, which also provided the food being distributed in the Kailahun district.
At the same time, a campaign was resumed to vaccinate 1,000 children under the standard EPI (extended programme of immunization).
The first round of the recently inaugurated relief operation is to be completed in about ten days: about three-quarters of the planned 40,000 beneficiaries have already been reached. A new assessment is now being carried out by an ICRC nutritionist on the spot.
Daru and Segbwema
The ICRC is setting up a new operation: a team of four exp atriates has been put in place to carry out a nutritional survey and population census in preparation for upcoming food distributions.