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Maldives: aid reaches victims of unrest

17-02-2012 News Release

Male/Delhi/Geneva (ICRC/MRC) – Following the recent political unrest in the country, the Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC) and the ICRC are providing humanitarian assistance to the people most affected, focusing on first aid and support for health care facilities.

"We worked with the MRC to prepare and facilitate the emergency response, and we have already been able to undertake significant humanitarian work," said François Stamm, head of the ICRC's regional delegation in New Delhi, speaking during a recent visit to Male. "The Maldivian government has given us access to all places of detention, enabling us to meet people arrested in connection with the recent events."

For the first time since the beginning of the unrest, a team of ICRC delegates assessed conditions at prisons in Male and Maafushi. They also visited people under house arrest and in police custody in Maafushi, Dhoonidhoo and Addu, including Gan and Hulhudhoomeedhoo. In all, the ICRC has interviewed and registered 75 detainees.

The ICRC has met Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed, Foreign Secretary Ahmed Naseem and the new Ministers of Home Affairs and Defence, Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and Mohamed Nazim respectively. The organization also discussed the current humanitarian situation with ex-President Mohamed Nasheed.

The MRC was recognized as a full member of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in November 2011, during the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva. The ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the MRC have enjoyed constructive dialogue and cooperation ever since 2004, when the three organizations worked together in the aftermath of the tsunami.

For further information, please contact:

Alexis Heeb, ICRC Delhi, tel: +91 971 1309561
Christian Cardon, ICRC Geneva +41 79 251 9302 or +41 22 730 2426
Ahmed Shifaz, Maldivian Red Crescent, Male, +960 7907725