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Nepal: Red Cross message network set up for detainees and their families

22-08-2002 News Release 02/34

Prabha Sharma is overjoyed today. She has just received a Red Cross message from her husband, who is being detained in connection with the ongoing conflict. She had been without news of him for the past nine months, but now she knows he is alive and well.

Thanks to this message, Prabha's uncertainty and anxiety regarding her husband's whereabouts are over. For detainees and their families, receiving news of their loved ones is always of great importance.

The ICRC and the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) jointly set up a Red Cross message network last month to facilitate the exchange of news between detainees and their relatives in places where family visits are unfeasible and normal postal services are unavailable. These messages are the only means that the detainees have of keeping in touch with their families.

The distribution of Red Cross messages in the often remote villages of Nepal is ensured by the volunteers of the NRCS, which has branches in all of the country's 75 districts. The ICRC distributes the replies during its visits to the detainees.

All over the world, the ICRC uses Red Cross messages to restore and maintain ties between family members and enable them to exchange news.