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Guinea: aid to Parrot's Beak region to begin Saturday?

Briefing notes

Guinea: aid to Parrot's Beak region to begin Saturday?

23 February 2001

UNHCR and its partners are preparing to transport aid to tens of thousands of people caught in the Parrot's Beak area of south-west Guinea. The trucking operation is tentatively scheduled to start Sunday. The WFP-supplied food and UNHCR non-food items will be distributed by the French NGO, Première Urgence. Initial results of a sample malnutrition survey carried out last week in the Parrot's Beak area showed a 24 per cent malnutrition rate among children under five. This underscores the urgency in getting aid to the region.

On the way back from the region, the trucks may pick up vulnerable refugees to relocate them to safer areas in central Guinea. Because of limited trucking capacity, UNHCR is also looking at the option of setting up way stations along the route to assist refugees who choose to walk to safety.

Meanwhile, UNHCR and WFP continue to move stockpiled aid from a warehouse in the heavily damaged town of Guéckédou to a new camp inside Guinea. Refugees also continue to be moved away from the Guéckédou area. With the rainy season expected in the next 60 days, it is urgent the relocation of people from Guinea's volatile south-west be carried out as quickly as possible. More trucks are needed.

Convoys continue to move refugees from Katkama camp in the Guéckédou area to Albadaria Prefecture further north, although a security incident temporarily interrupted the transfer on Thursday. To date, 11,000 refugees have been transferred to Albadaria.