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Ethiopia: New ambulances for Ethiopian Red Cross

14-03-2003 News Release 03/28

The ICRC has handed 10 new ambulances over to the Ethiopian Red Cross Society. The donation is intended to help build a countrywide Red Cross ambulance fleet capable of adequately serving the large African country.

Some parts of the country have no ambulance service, and where there is one the Society’s vehicles are in poor condition owing to their age and to rough roads. This greatly increases the risks faced by people needing urgent medical attention.

The Ethiopian Red Cross will deploy the new ambulances in regions where its local branches and the municipalities concerned have signed a memorandum of understanding and are ready to implement the new management system agreed for the vehicles.

Mr Ato Getachew Ta'a, Secretary-General of the Ethiopian Red Cross, thanked the ICRC for its support and pointed out that while the Society’s present ambulance service comes to the aid of over 100,000 people a year, it is not able to meet all the medical emergencies throughout the vast country, hence the need for support from benefactors.

Forty of the Society’s remaining ambulances require replacement and plans are being made to seek further support from national and international donors.

 Further information: Gianni Volpin, ICRC Addis Ababa, tel. ++2511 518 366