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Red Cross update: Myanmar

NEWS RELEASE

11 May 2008

Red Cross update: Myanmar

Red Cross aid is getting through to Myanmar in increased amounts with three Red Cross Red Crescent planes having arrived so far, laden with 14 tonnes of shelter material. The aid supplies have all been cleared and distributed by Myanmar Red Cross.

A further seven Red Cross aid flights carrying 20 tonnes of shelter material, drinking water containers and mosquito nets are expected by Monday 12 May (local time).

All the stocks that were held in Myanmar Red Cross warehouses, including hygiene items, food, water purification tablets, and mosquito nets has been distributed.

It is estimated in recent days over 220, 000 people have received some form of aid, with over 80,000 of those people having been served directly by Red Cross.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (the Federation) is undertaking high-level discussions with the Myanmar Red Cross and the government. The depth of the crisis and the need for massive amounts of aid are being emphasised. The dialogue is sensitive but crucial.

The Federation is able to hold these high level discussions because of their neutrality and their well established relationship with the authorities that began back in 1993.

The Federation’s neutrality has allowed them to plan relief operations with the government, with frank and open discussion. Their well established relationship has allowed the Federation to bring international relief supplies and international experts (14 in total) into the country.

The Federation’s Head of Delegation in Myanmar will visit the Ayerawaddy delta area today (local time) with the Myanmar Red Cross. The assessment trip has been authorised by the government’s Minister for Health.

ENDS

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