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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Helping to Reintegrate War-Affected Children

The Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Valgerdur Sverrisdóttir, has decided to support the Red Cross campaign against child soldiers in Sierra Leone with a contribution of 10.6 million Icelandic krona. The Red Cross project in Sierra Leone is an attempt to help with the rehabilitation of war-affected children and their reintegration into child-friendly communities in that West-African country.

Civil War plagued Sierra Leone in the last decade and many children were affected by it, some being direct participants in hostilities. However, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies now runs a successful Child advocacy and Rehabilitation-project in Sierra Leone which aims to help children that are suffering from the effects of war, providing them with school instruction, psychological treatment, and teaching them vocational skills so that they are better prepared to cope with normal life.

Part of the money contributed by the Icelandic government will be used to build a rehabilitation center and refuge where children can attend classes and receive psychological care in order to cope with the effects of civil war.

A special refuge will also be built for young mothers where their children will be cared for while they attend school.

The Icelandic government has decided that Iceland´s development aid will have reached 0,35% of its GNP by 2009. Iceland runs bilateral development aid through the Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) in six countries ? Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka and Uganda ? but it also contributes directly to organisations such as the Red Cross.



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