About the mission
Launch date: 1995
Local staff : 133
Expatriates : 6
Population: 8.8 million inhabitants
Life expectancy : 55 years
Human Development Index : Ranking 160 out of 177
Guinea-Conakry is one of the poorest countries in Africa (see indicators above). The external debt comes to 272 million dollars, the average life expectancy is 55 years, less than 30% of the population are literate and the country is suffering major ethnic conflicts.
Guinea’s vulnerability and the State’s failure to respond effectively have meant that Guinea is now one of the least stable countries in the area. The leaders of the opposition have been suppressed or removed from the political scene.
The conflict in the area has contributed to the destabilization of the country, which was judged in 2006 to be the most corrupt country on the continent of Africa.
Both the political and economic situations are extremely unstable; following the strengthening of the unions and a massive appeal to the civilian population, citizens confronted the government and work was put on hold for about a month in January 2007. As a result, the cost of living has shot up (basic food stuffs, fuel, water) and prices are at the highest in the country’s history.
The high demographic pressure which the country suffers from is responsible for the continuous decline in its natural resources. Further problems include the presence of refugees and out-of-date farming equipment.
Over the past 15 years Guinea-Conakry has been the ‘host country’ for refugees fleeing armed conflicts in southern Africa. It is estimated that there are still more than 15,000 people in the refugee camps.
Faced with signs which suggested that the region was stabilising, in 2005 began the process of repatriating the thousands of refugees from Liberia and Sierra Leone. The process has been very slow and many refugees have refused to return to their country of origin.
The political crisis which took place at the beginning of 2007 was responsible for the deterioration of the nutritional situation in Conakry, the country’s capital. The country already registers a high rate of infant malnutrition.
ACNUR, DFID, ECHO, AECID, WFP, Fundación La Caixa, Government of Navarra