BRAZZAVILLE, REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 12 January 2010 – On January 7th and 8th, UNICEF started the delivery of 19.8 tonnes of nutrition kits, tents, prescription drugs, School-in-a-Box and recreation kits and water tanks to the department of Likouala, in Northern Congo, (Brazzaville).
This is UNICEF's second large delivery of relief supplies to the hard-to-reach region in Northern Congo.
Over the next days, UNICEF staff will ferry the new relief items by rapid boats to the refugee camps located along the Oubangui River in the department of Likouala, where more than 100,000 refugees from DR Congo are based.
"Getting the relief supplies to these camps is very important, but UNICEF remains concerned about the overall situation of children and women in Northern Congo," said Marianne Flach, UNICEF Representative in Congo Brazzaville. “It remains difficult for relief agencies to get complete and unhindered access to the people in these camps and to offer needed services such as psychosocial counseling,” she added.
Since the mass movement of people into the department of Likouala in Northern Congo began in late October 2009, UNICEF has responded proactively to the emergency situation by doing a rapid assessment of needs and procuring the rapid supply of relief items to the camps, including several tonnes of nutrition kits (therapeutic food and milk), prescription drugs, water purifying tablets, tents, and School-in-a-Box and recreation kits.
Last weekend’s shipment to the department of Likouala marks the second delivery of relief supplies by UNICEF to the displaced people in the Northern Congo.
The relief flights to the department of Likouala included:
Three UNICEF staff member accompanied the two local partners, « Agence d’Assistance au Rapatriés et Refugiés au Congo (AARREC) and Médecins d’Afrique (MDA) in charge of the distribution of the much needed supplies to the refugees.
UNICEF has been working in the Republic of Congo since 1964 and has maintained programs nationwide since then. The agency has operational bases in Brazzaville (the country’s capital) and Pointe Noire (the Economic Capital in the south part of the Country) and it has been in the department of Likouala in a permanent basis since the beginning of the emergency crisis in October 2009.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
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