ICRC sends emergency aid to Madagascar

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross airlifted emergency aid to Madagascar on Friday in the wake of a surge in violence during anti-government protests.

ICRC officials estimate that more than 350 people have been wounded during an outbreak of violence in Madagascar's capital, Antananarivo.


In a move to prevent a growing humanitarian crisis, the ICRC on Friday airlifted emergency medical supplies from Kenya to the committee's local unit in Madagascar, the Malagasy Red Cross Society, the ICRC reported.

Officials say the aid includes wound-dressing kits, stretchers and other emergency supplies aimed at addressing the influx of casualties.

"The first priority in such a crisis is to stabilize the injured and evacuate them to medical facilities," Olivier Gillabert, head of the ICRC mission in Madagascar, said in a statement.

"It is essential that the authorities respect the Red Cross emblem and enable the volunteers of the Malagasy Red Cross to perform their services quickly and safely."

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