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Red Cross to deploy an additional Kiwi aid worker

26 May 2006

Red Cross to deploy an additional Kiwi aid worker to Timor-Leste tomorrow

New Zealand Red Cross aid worker Grant Hargreaves will fly to Dili tomorrow to provide logistical support for the Red Cross response to the unfolding political events in Timor-Leste.

Mr Hargreaves, from Rotorua, will be working alongside fellow Kiwi Warwick Inder to coordinate Red Cross relief supplies for the internally displaced people (IDPs) who are living in camps and temporary shelters in and around Dili as a result of the unrest.

Mr Hargreaves has prior logistical experience in Timor-Leste, having previously worked there for the Red Cross in 2001.

International programmes manager Glenn Rose says that New Zealand Red Cross is also currently investigating the possibility of sending essential relief items such as tarpaulins to Timor-Leste.

"There has been heavy rain over the past few days, so tarpaulins will be useful in providing additional shelter, or repairing existing shelters. Although there is no shortage of food at present, the International Federation of Red Crescent has indicated that there is also a need for other non-food relief items such as mosquito nets and water containers."

Mr Rose says that the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent will use the relief items to provide support to the activities of the Timor-Leste Red Cross, which has significant links in local communities.

"The Timor-Leste Red Cross has a network of volunteers throughout the country, which is particularly important in ascertaining the needs of the local population, and ensuring these needs are being met," Mr Rose says.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent is to launch an appeal later today, which will support the Timor-Leste Red Cross to carry out relief activities.

New Zealand Red Cross is accepting donations on behalf of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent through its website www.redcross.org.nz and regional offices.

This is Mr Hargreaves' ninth mission for New Zealand Red Cross. As well as Timor Leste, he has worked in Liberia, Tanzania, Kyrzykstan, DPR Korea, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and Tajikistan.

Mr Inder is head of delegation for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent in Timor Leste, and this is his eleventh mission for New Zealand Red Cross. He has been in Timor-Leste for just over three weeks.

ENDS


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