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Libya: reaching people in Misrata and Zawiyah

09-04-2011 News Release 11/87

Geneva/Benghazi (ICRC) – After receiving the support of both the authorities in Tripoli and the National Transitional Council in Benghazi, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is extending its activities to the western part of Libya.

"A team composed of two ICRC delegates and three staff members from the Libyan Red Crescent left the city of Tripoli this morning for the city of Zawiyah to conduct an initial assessment of the situation, focused mainly on health care", said Georgios Georgantas, the ICRC's deputy head of operations for North and West Africa.

Also, a ship chartered by the ICRC docked today in Misrata, some 200 km east of Tripoli, carrying 130 cubic metres of medicines and other cargo. The Libyan port has been the scene of continuous fighting for the last three weeks.

"We are sending the ship to support Misrata’s main hospital, by delivering enough medical supplies to treat 300 patients with weapon injuries on the spot," said Jean-Michel Monod who heads the ICRC team in Tripoli. "We hope to deliver more emergency supplies in the next few days," he added.

The shipment includes an autoclave for sterilizing surgical instruments, medical supplies and drugs to treat the victims of weapon wounds, stretchers, surgical instruments, blankets and high-protein biscuits. Five ICRC staff were on board to assess both the situation in Misrata and the needs of civilians in the town.

The ship left Benghazi yesterday at noon. The ICRC will hand the cargo over to medical personnel from the hospital and to a local committee that will distribute the supplies according to need.

For further information, please contact:
Nicole Engelbrecht, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17

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