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South Africa: ICRC supplies aid for victims of violence

29-05-2008 News Release 08/91

Pretoria (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has handed over 7,600 blankets in support of the South African Red Cross Society's (SARCS) efforts to help people affected by the recent violence in South Africa.

According to humanitarian organizations present in the country, attacks on foreigners have displaced more then 50,000 people, most of them from Mozambique and Zimbabwe, primarily in the central part of Gauteng province.

" The blankets are the first shipment of essential items that the ICRC will be supplying to the South African Red Cross in the coming days,” says Catherine Gendre, Head of the ICRC's Regional delegation in Pretoria. “We will be handing over a second shipment of 7,400 blankets to the SARCS next week, along with other non-food items such as tarpaulins.”

The ICRC, together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, has been supporting the work of the SARCS since violence broke out more than two weeks ago. In particular, the ICRC is helping the SARCS to re-establish contact between separated family members. The organization is also expanding the capacity of the SARCS to deal with the crisis by training the Society’s volunteers in restoring family links and in how to operate more safely in violence-prone areas.
  For further information, please contact:
  Annemarie Watt, ICRC Pretoria, tel: +27 12 430 7335 or + 27 82 559 2046
  Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 2271 or +41 79 217 3217