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ICRC and Magen David Adom sign cooperation agreement

09-06-2003 News Release

Tel Aviv/Geneva (ICRC) – The chairman of the executive committee of the Magen David Adom (MDA), Yochanan Gur, and the head of delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), François Bellon, signed the first cooperation agreement between the two organizations today.

Strengthening the MDA's operational capacity and enhancing respect for its medical mission is a top priority for the ICRC in Israel. " This is the first agreement to be signed between the ICRC and the MDA. It confirms the commitment of the two organizations to further develop their cooperation activities, " said Mr Bellon, who explained that the main purpose of the agreement was " to assist the MDA in its tireless efforts to save lives and alleviate human suffering, without discrimination. "

The cooperation agreement provides for ICRC support in the following areas in 2003:

The ICRC will provide funding to train paramedics from the MDA's emergency medical service and cover the cost of overtime and extra-shift work. In addition, it will help   pay for blood bags for the MDA's blood bank.

The ICRC will also support the MDA's disaster management programme, which is aimed at expanding the organization's capacity to respond to natural disasters and conflict-related emergencies. Among other things, MDA operational staff will take part in disaster-preparedness training courses given by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Tracing persons who have been reported missing or lost contact with their relatives is another important activity of the MDA, whose tracing department receives an average of 35 tracing requests every week. The ICRC will continue to support this department, which works closely with National Societies and the ICRC's Central Tracing Ag ency on cases dating back to the Second World War.

The ICRC will also continue to help create links between the MDA and other National Societies around the world, for example by helping to fund the ongoing exchange programmes with the Norwegian Red Cross and the Uganda Red Cross Society. In addition, it will continue to coordinate the activities of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in Israel and in the occupied and autonomous territories and work together with National Societies that support MDA programmes.

Finally, in 2003 the ICRC and the MDA plan to increase their activities to raise awareness of international humanitarian law and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement among MDA staff and volunteers.

 Please note: this is a revised version of a press release issued by ICRC Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on 9 June 2003.

 Further information:  

 Vincent Bernard, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: ++02 582 8441, ext. 114; 057 735 235  

 Uriel Masad, ICRC Tel Aviv, tel:++03 524 5286; 064 681 455