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Democratic Republic of the Congo: Urgent medical aid in Uvira

17-10-2002 News Release

Goma (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has just completed a survey in Uvira to gauge the population's need for humanitarian aid following the events of last weekend.

After obtaining the necessary security guarantees from all the parties concerned, ICRC delegates went to Uvira on 15 October and made initial contact with those running the town, visited the hospital, and met with officials of the local Red Cross.

During a tour of the town, delegates assessed the situation at the local hospital, where wounded people were being treated, and noted a shortage of drinking water in the town due to lack of electricity. As a result, the ICRC supplied medical facilities with medicines with which to treat the victims and provided the local Red Cross with gloves and blankets. It also furnished 200 of fuel for generators needed to supply the town with drinking water. In addition, the organization will dispatch technicians to Uvira to ensure that the population's water needs are met as quickly as possible.

Following an upsurge in fighting, the ICRC also reminded all those who bear weapons that they are required by the Geneva Conventions to spare civilians and respect their property.