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Haiti: Situation alarming

11-02-2004 News Release 04/14

The Haitian Red Cross and the ICRC are working together to meet humanitarian needs arising from the crisis that has engulfed Haiti for the past three months.

Each day wounded people in dire need of medical care are being rushed to hospitals in Port-au-Prince and other cities. These have neither the staff nor the equipment to cope with such an emergency. The ICRC is particularly concerned by repeated incidents of armed individuals breaking into hospitals, endangering the lives of both staff and patients.

The Haitian Red Cross, with ICRC support, is continuing to evacuate the wounded, despite increasingly restricted access to them. Since December 2003 the ICRC and the National Society have provided medical facilities with first-aid material in sufficient quantities to treat 250 wounded. The ICRC is currently evaluating needs in the main public and private hospitals and already plans to supply enough surgical material to treat 500 wounded.

Wherever possible, the ICRC is also continuing to visit detainees. The organization has increased its staff in Haiti, and now has six delegates working there.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Felipe Donoso, ICRC Haiti, tel. ++ 509 256 78 24  

 Adolfo Beteta, ICRC Mexico,  tel. ++ 5255 52 43 55  

 Eros Bosisio, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++ 4122 730 21 01