GENEVA, Switzerland, August 30, 2017\/--\u201cSurvivors of Sierra Leone\u2019s devastating mudslides continue to struggle with trauma and the lack of shelter as they try to recover from the disaster that buried nearly 500 people more than two weeks ago,\u201d said Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traor\u00e9, Regional Director for Africa at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), on her return from a visit to Freetown\u2019s worst affected communities. "The situation of survivors is heart-breaking,\u201d she continued. \u201cThese people face an arduous road to recovery while coping with the double burden of losing loved ones and rebuilding their lives from scratch.\u201d While bodies continue to be unearthed from hardest hit areas, more than 1600 families require urgent shelter, in addition to longer term recovery support. Over 100 Sierra Leone Red Cross volunteers staff have been at the forefront of the mudslide response carrying out search and rescue operations. Many of these volunteers also provided support to communities during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak, during which they led safe burial programmes to prevent further spread of the disease. \u201cThe affected communities are getting a combination of psycho-social support, health and hygiene information, and shelter and sanitation items which are the many skills that volunteers learned during the during the Ebola outbreak,\u201d said Dr Nafo-Traor\u00e9. \u201cIt helps the survivors to speak of their trauma to volunteers who have had prior experience and who can understand their pain and suffering.\u201d she explained. The IFRC has appealed for 4.6 million Swiss francs for the long-term recovery of 4,600 people with shelter, safe water, food and re-establishing proper sanitation to avoid any risk of disease spreading.