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Guinea: UNHCR and US DOS visit Forécariah camps

Briefing notes

Guinea: UNHCR and US DOS visit Forécariah camps

21 November 2000

Over the weekend, the UNHCR officials in Guinea joined visiting US State Department officials on a field visit to refugee camps in Forécariah Prefecture in south-western Guinea, near the border with Sierra Leone. An earlier visit by UNHCR protection staff to camps in Forécariah found that, although the roadblocks established in September had been dismantled, the security of refugees had not improved significantly. Refugees venturing outside the camps continued to be harassed. The team found that health and community services in the area had deteriorated as a result of the lack of maintenance and one school had been closed.

However, one significant improvement was that refugees from one of the camps are now able to go out to cultivate their fields outside the camps with the help of a local agriculture NGO, a fact which will help in improving the nutritional status of refugees in the camp.

UNHCR intends to increase the frequency of field missions which will also include security assessments of the three camps situated on the border with Sierra Leone.