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Ukraine: Assistance in Crimea

11-03-1998 News Release 98/10

In view of the ever-increasing humanitarian needs in Crimea, the ICRC has decided to provide support for the local committee of the Ukrainian Red Cross. Earlier this year, the existing Red Cross network of some 80 nurses making home visits were given medical supplies and 500 pairs of shoes for distribution, together with 20 bicycles and warm clothes to help them in their work. The Finnish Red Cross has just dispatched nearly 20 tonnes of used clothing to be handed out by the local Red Cross, which puts at around 17,500 the number of Crimea's most destitute inhabitants.

A recent survey carried out by the ICRC showed that old-age pensioners, most of whom are living in extremely precarious conditions, make up almost 30% of Crimea's population.  Moreover,  the region's difficulties are compounded by problems linked to the integration of 250,000 Tatars. The Crimean Tatars, who were deported to Central Asia at the end of World War II, were able to return in the early 1990s. Most of them are living in makeshift housing, often without running water or electricity, and receive insufficient social assistance.

The ICRC opened a regional delegation in Kyiv in 1996. A delegate has been monitoring the situation in Crimea since last autumn.

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