Taylor verdict a chance for survivors to move forward, says World Vision

Apr 26, 2012, 08:58 ET from World Vision U.S.

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, April, 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- World Vision hopes the end of the Charles Taylor trial will refocus the world's attention on the survivors of his atrocities in Sierra Leone. The organization is calling for the international community to strengthen its response to the lasting effects the civil war still has on many in the country. The brutal decade-long civil war displaced one-third of Sierra Leone's residents, left tens of thousands of people dead and many more disfigured.

"Although it has been more than a decade since the atrocities of the civil war, we see people here dealing with the lingering effects each and every day. Because of the amputations that combatants inflicted on innocent people, many Sierra Leoneans will see the reminders of that cruelty for the rest of their lives. In addition to the atrocities afflicted on individuals, the whole community continues to be affected by the destruction of schools, clinics and roads," said World Vision's National Director in Sierra Leone, Jennifer Harold. "The basic things
children and communities need to grow and develop have been destroyed and haven't yet come back. It's undeniable that Charles Taylor was a central figure in causing enormous damage and today's action will be a significant step in helping the community and the country to move on."

World Vision has worked in Sierra Leone since 1978, scaling up efforts beginning in 1996. Over time that work has transitioned from a number of programs to assist those affected by civil war, including aiding in resettlement of people who have been displaced by war and training youth affected by the war to longer term development solutions like child education and health.

SOURCE World Vision U.S.