|ICRC Activities in the Congo (Brazzaville): 1994 - 20 April 2000 (International Committee of the Red Cross , 56 p.)|
COMITINTERNATIONAL DE LA CROIX-ROUGE
Due to conflicts in recent years in the Republic of Congo, the destruction of infrastructure has left few reliable sources of energy, limited means of communication, no functioning banking or penal systems and unstable education and economic systems.
The Congolese people are now facing an uncertain future with insecure sources of income, high unemployment and a lower standard of living. In certain areas the presence of armed groups continues to be a problem creating instability and tension.
Since the end of August 1998, the humanitarian and security situations in the south-west of the country and in parts of the capital, Brazzaville, have deteriorated.
It is difficult to assess the humanitarian situation in the southwest regions due to the security situation. However, an estimated 200,000 and 150,000 people respectively have been displaced by the violence and agricultural production has been disrupted as a result of the prevailing insecurity. In certain regions food requirements for the population of Brazzaville have become increasingly critical.
The ICRC delegation is located in Brazzaville. The ICRC has decided to step up its operations and increase assistance programmes in 1999.
Assistance and Health Services:
Emergency assistance including medical care, water supply, sanitation, food and non-food distribution is provided by the Red Cross Movement.
Access to health structures remains an important issue. The ICRC focuses its efforts on evaluating the needs of health facilities in Brazzaville and medical supplies are provided to dispensaries.
The ICRC supplies the three main operational hospitals in Brazzaville receiving war-wounded and displaced people. The ICRC provided the hospitals with dressing, dispensary and paediatric kits, as well as other drugs and dressing material.
Efforts to Gain Access to Detainees:
A number of people were arrested in connection with the 1997 conflict or for security reasons. Following the events, the ICRC made representations at the highest level with a view to visiting places of detention. A formal proposal, drafted in cooperation with government consultants, was submitted to the government in May 1998. Although the ICRC received positive signals with regard to this proposal, the signing of the document was postponed because of the outbreak of hostilities in December of 1998.
The ICRC maintains the role of lead agency in directing and coordinating the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements emergency operations in the Republic of the Congo. The ICRC and the Congolese Red Cross Society have been collaborating to provide essential assistance to displaced people, with additional support given by the Federation to ensure the institutional development of the National Society.
The ICRC activities in the Republic of Congo cover a wide spectrum of humanitarian activities, such as:
Relief activities that provide assistance to vulnerable people:
In 1998, the
- distributed 284 tonnes of food to 70,000 beneficiaries, including families taking part in the food for work programmes, institutions for the disabled, unaccompanied children, street children and social welfare cases.
- supplied 11,900 kits (containing a tarpaulin, a jerrycan, a cooking pot, 2 blankets and soap) to 89,000 people whose houses had been damaged or destroyed during the conflict in 1997.
- donated 255 kg of seeds and 400 kg of tools and food to agricultural cooperatives in order to facilitate their transition to self-sufficiency following the conflict.
- provided 3,500 families around Brazzaville with vegetable seed kits and hoes.
- under food for work programmes, had several fishponds and lakes which had been plundered during the conflict cleaned and restocked with tilapia.
- In 1998, the ICRC exchanged 4,763 RCMs between Brazzaville and various destinations and reunited 95 unaccompanied Congolese children with close relatives through the Red Cross Message Network.
Health activities to care for the wounded and sick:
In 1998, the ICRC:
- in cooperation with the Congolese Red Cross, rehabilitated 23 health centres heavily damaged during the conflict.
- supplied 600 kg of essential drugs to 19 integrated health centres.
- In 1998, the ICRC organised an information conference on IHL for 50 high ranking officers from the Ministry of Defense and the military academy.
Budget and Staff:
The 1999 budget for ICRC Republic of Congo is SFr 3,061,122.
- 13 expatriates.
- 99 locally hired staff.