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Brazil: Red Cross starts to work in Rio’s favelas

30-06-2008 News Release 08/115

Brasilia (ICRC) – On 28 June a group of 20 Brazilian Red Cross volunteers organized the first of six first-aid training sessions for favela dwellers in Complexo do Alemão and Complexo da Maré, two Rio de Janeiro communities hard hit by violence.

By August, the volunteers will have trained 60 people to care for the wounded and sick, thus improving the chances of survival among those requiring urgent medical attention and alleviating the suffering they endure until State medical services arrive to help them. The programme is being implemented by the Rio chapter of the Brazilian Red Cross with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

“It is especially important to provide care for those who are most vulnerable,” explained Michel Minnig, the ICRC’s regional delegate for southern South America and Brazil. “We need to have access to these people, and the neutrality, impartiality and independence of the Red Cross are essential to obtaining it.”

The ICRC has been working in Brazil without interruption since 1991. One of its main activities has been to support efforts undertaken by the Brazilian Red Cross to build up its institutional and operational capacity. The ICRC has also focused on promoting the observance of human rights rules applicable to police work; it has provided training for over 1,000 police instructors throughout the country.

  For further information, please contact:
  João Paulo Charleaux, ICRC Brasilia, tel: +55 61 3248 0250 or +55 61 8122 0119
  Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel:+ 41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24