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Myanmar: ICRC flies relief into cyclone-hit country

11-05-2008 News Release 08/80

Geneva / Yangon (ICRC) – A cargo aircraft chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived early Sunday in Yangon. It was carrying 35 tonnes of equipment and materials urgently needed for medical care, drinking water and sanitation, and the safe disposal of bodies. The arrival of the supplies and their subsequent transfer to the ICRC and the Myanmar Red Cross Society was facilitated by the Myanmar authorities.

  ©International Federation    
Labutta, Irrawaddy delta region of Myanmar. Many houses have literally been blown apart by Cyclone Nargis .    
  ©International Federation    
Bogolay. Relief distribution by Red Cross volunteers.    

The medical supplies are sufficient to treat some 250 trauma patients and to provide three months of basic health care for 10,000 persons. The water and sanitation items, which include a mobile water-treatment plant, are intended to provide drinking water for 10,000 persons.

In accordance with a request from the Myanmar authorities, some of the supplies will go to several detention facilities that were hit by the cyclone. Due to the critical need for drinking water, the water treatment plant will be immediately deployed in a location determined by the Myanmar Red Cross Society.

In addition, the ICRC team in Yangon has been working with the Myanmar Red Cross Society to help restore contact between people separated from their loved ones by the disaster. This is a key part of the Red Cross operation. “Clearly our priority is to ensure victims of this terrible disaster access to clean drinking water, shelter, food and health care”, said Pierre-André Conod, head of the ICRC's delegation in Myanmar. " But you can't underestimate the significance of enabling a family to learn that their child is alive and well. "


 For further information, please contact:  

 Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 217 32 24 or +41 22 730 24 58  

 Craig Strathern, ICRC Yangon, tel: +873 762 732 250