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close this bookICRC Activities in Rwanda: 1993 - 6 April 2000 (International Committee of the Red Cross , 230 p.)
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View the documentUpdate No. 97/01 on ICRC activities in Rwanda
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View the documentLandmines in Africa
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View the documentICRC News 00/12 - 6 April 2000

ICRC NEWS N° 49/7 December 1994

RWANDA
FOOD SITUATION CRITICAL

The health of hundreds of thousands of people in southern Rwanda is currently threatened by an acute food shortage, according to an ICRC agro-nutritional report. A month’s field survey by agronomist Frans Grunewald has shown that in four districts traditional planting has been severely disrupted by the massacres and conflict which have ravaged the country.

Thousands of families scattered in the hills or gathered in refugee camps are afraid to return to their homes and continue to survive from day to day thanks to food aid from humanitarian organizations. The ICRC itself is still feeding a million people in various camps, mostly in the south-western part of the country. As things stand, no economic recovery is possible, and in the long run food aid is likely to breed dependence. The ICRC therefore completed a programme in October for the distribution of seed (beans and maize) and hoes to some 200.000 families which still have access to their land.

Although the threat of a serious famine seems to have been averted for the time being, the fact remains that the population will have no food available locally until the next harvest, in early 1995. The ICRC has therefore begun distributing food to bridge the gap. The situation meanwhile remains alarming in the districts of Kibuye, Gitarama, Gokingoro and Bugesera.

Frans Grunewald also reports that the tea and coffee plantations that were formerly key features of the national economy are completely ruined; this will have disastrous effects on the Rwandan economy already weakened by the conflict.

Further information: Frans Grunewald, agronomist, ICRC Geneva,
Tel. + +41 22 730 2163 and Kim Gordon Bates, ICRC Geneva, Tel: + +41 22 730 2265