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DRC: ICRC distributes aid relief to 4,000 families in Shabunda

NAIROBI, 5 March 2003 (IRIN) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) completed on Monday the distribution of 210 mt of relief aid to some 4,000 families in the formerly inaccessible region of Shabunda, South Kivu Province, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Shabunda and the surrounding region remained cut off for months due to insecurity, thereby limiting commercial activity and residents' access to fields surrounding the town. This prevailing insecurity also forced the ICRC to twice suspend its operations in the region during 2002. However, having recently obtained necessary security guarantees from the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie in Goma and Mayi-Mayi militias in Shabunda, ICRC was able to carry out this operation.

Several recent evaluation missions enabled the ICRC to identify the needs of the 25,000 or so residents, and to thereby focus its intervention on supporting the resumption of agricultural activities and improvement of nutrition.

A total of 19 flights of a DC-3 aircraft of the ICRC in the course of one week enabled the delivery of 28,000 kg of improved groundnut seeds, 12,000 kg of beans, 10,000 kg of sweet potato cuttings, 4,000 kg of maize, 6,400 kg of soap, 3,000 kg of iodised salt, 4,000 market gardening seed kits, 4,000 hoes and 4,000 sheets of cloth.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the ICRC said authorities had enabled it to complete this operation and to carry out its mandate of assisting victims of armed conflict. It also said that the success of this initiative was due, in large part, to close collaboration with local Red Cross staff.

Themes: (IRIN) Food Security

[ENDS]

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