|ICRC Activities in Rwanda: 1993 - 6 April 2000 (International Committee of the Red Cross , 230 p.)|
The grim ordeal of the people of Rwanda remains unabated. Fighting and massacres continue in many parts of the country, driving the population into chaotic flight. The threat of famine also looms: because of the conflict, hundreds of thousands of people have little or no access to food. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has started mass distributions of food aid via its delegation in Kigali and its outposts in the north and south of Rwanda.
In the capital Kigali, thousands of terrified people have taken refuge in parish halls, hospitals, embassies and the national stadium. Their very survival depends upon aid from outside. Despite extremely hazardous conditions the ICRC, in cooperation with the Rwandese Red Cross, is managing to get regular supplies of food through to some 25,000 people. Emergency surgical care is also being provided to the victims of the ongoing violence.
45 tonnes of emergency medical aid dispatched
The ICRC hospital set up in Kigali as soon as the crisis began is submerged with work. On 1 May another 56 casualties were taken there after the attack on the Holy Family church, which left 13 dead and more than a hundred injured. A dispensary was also opened with Red Cross help and has provided treatment for all the other casualties. To date a total of 45 tonnes of medicines and other emergency medical supplies have been distributed in Kigali to hospital facilities assisted by the ICRC.
Surgical team for Kabgayi
At the request of the Rwanda government and in response to the huge needs generated by the tragic events, the ICRC opened a sub-delegation today, 5 May, in the religious centre Kabgayi. Five delegates and a surgeon will take over care of the hundreds of casualties in the monastery hospital there.
The ICRC also intends to provide assistance for the tens of thousands of displaced people in the Gitarama region. An additional surgical team of five people seconded by the Finnish and Netherlands Red Cross Societies will be sent our from Geneva to Kabgayi within the next few days.
Initial food distributions to 60.000 people in northern Rwanda
According to ICRC estimates, there are now 170,000 newly displaced people of all ethnic groups housed in makeshift camps in the north of the country. The first food distributions have already taken place to 45,000 people to the east Ruhengeri and 15,000 others in Byumba. For the time being, this Red Cross operation is being carried out from a logistic base in Kabale, in southern Uganda.
Further information: Tony Burgener, ICRC
Tel. ++41 22 730 2317
First distribution of ICRC emergency aid in Tanzania refuges camps
The ICRC was the first organization to start work in the refugee camps in Tanzania. It has carried out a first distribution of emergency food aid to 220,000 people: each person receive 1 kg of beans. A unique feature of this operation is that the ICRC is being helped simultaneously by volunteers of the Tanzania and Rwandese Red Cross Societies. Further distributions will be made until organizations specialized on aid to refugees over.
39 expatriates in action
In all, 39 ICRC delegates have been assigned to the operation in Rwanda: 15 expatriates based in Kigali, six in Kabgayi, four in Ngara (on the Tanzanian border), five in Bukavu and Goma (on the Zairian border) and nine others in charge of assisting displaced people in the north of the country. In all, there are 39 expatriates working in Rwanda.