IRC Marks Seventeen Years Working in Guinea
The IRC began working in Guinea in 1991 to help the government cope with a massive influx of refugees from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast brought on by civil war and conflict in all three countries. By 1996, there were more than 672,000 refugees in Guinea. The IRC carried out education, economic recovery and development and protection programs among others. One of its greatest successes was helping thousands of Liberian refugee students and teachers to successfully return and reintegrate into the Liberian educational system.
With the end of the wars in the region, large numbers of refugees in Guinea began to repatriate to their home countries. As of June, 2008, fewer than 10,000 remain in Guinea. The IRC announced at the N'zerekore celebration that with the refugee crisis now over, it has begun to phase out its programs. It is expected that the IRC will fully leave Guinea by April 2009.