Photo: Italian Red Cross

Caracas/Panama/Geneva/Rome, 31 July 2019 – A consignment of 34 tons of medicines and medical supplies arrived at Caracas international airport this morning from Italy, the president of the Venezuelan Red Cross, Dr. Mario Villarroel, has confirmed.

This consignment was sent by Italian Red Cross, with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and private donors: this is an in-kind donation of 3 million euro to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) 50 million Swiss franc emergency appeal which aims to bring a range of health services to 650,000 people in Venezuela over 12 months.

The shipment that arrived today includes essential medicines such as antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, health disposables and a range of medical equipment such as defibrillators.

The IFRC operation is focusing on supporting Venezuelan health centres, including the Venezuelan Red Cross’ health network, with medicines and equipment. The operation will also ensure that hospitals and clinics that are being supported have access to clean water and effective sanitation.

Francesco Rocca, President of IFRC and the Italian Red Cross, said: “This consignment will enable us to expand our operation, scaling up our support to Venezuelan health facilities and ensuring that vulnerable people can access this much-needed support.

“We know this consignment will not meet all the needs in the country: we call on all partners and donors to support our appeal to alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelans. I thank the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian donors who supported us in this new consignment.”

Dr Mario Villarroel, President of the Venezuelan Red Cross, said: “Humanitarian aid saves lives and the Venezuelan Red Cross seeks to support the country’s health needs. This is support for the people most in need, which has always been the spirit of our humanitarian work.”

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