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Israel: First international MDA workshop on disaster management

11-11-2003 News Release 03/144

On 10 - 11 November, the Magen David Adom (MDA) is hosting its first ever disaster management workshop, together with the ICRC, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the American Red Cross. More than 45 participants from the MDA will attend.

" The goal of the workshop is to give Red Cross experts an opportunity to share with MDA staff their experience in disaster assessment, management and international assistance " , explains the director of the MDA’s Emergency Department, Chaim Rafalowski. The participants will discuss lessons learned from the earthquake in Turkey and disaster assessments in the United States. Mr Rafalowski hopes the workshop will serve as a starting point for the MDA’s action plan for disaster management.

In addition to MDA leaders, the workshop will bring together a wide range of specialists from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: the ICRC and the Federation are sending experienced staff from their Geneva headquarters and their respective delegations in Israel, and participants will include personnel from the American, British, German and Norwegian Red Cross Societies, plus the Palestine Red Crescent Society. Personnel from the Israel Defense Forces and Ministry of Health will also attend.

This workshop is one of a range of joint MDA/ICRC activities stemming from their June 2003 cooperation agreement.

The ICRC has been working in Israel and the occupied and autonomous territories since 1967. It remains committed to supporting the Magen David Adom and the Palestine Red Crescent Society. The organization also monitors compliance with international humanitarian law, mainly the Fourth Geneva Convention for the protection of civilians. In addition, it visits prisoners and detainees to monitor their treatment and living conditions.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Vincent Bernard, ICRC Jerusalem, ++972 2 582 8845 / 582 84 41