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szdaily -> World -> 
First Red Cross humanitarian aid arrives in Venezuela
    2019-04-18  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

THE first shipment of Red Cross humanitarian aid arrived in crisis-wracked Venezuela on Tuesday following approval from President Nicolas Maduro’s government, the organization confirmed.

“This is a great step forward to support vulnerable people in the country!” tweeted Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The shipment included 24 tons of medical supplies and 14 power units to be distributed amongst eight hospitals and 30 outpatient clinics, said Health Minister Carlos Alvarado.

Some 30 trucks moved the supplies from the Maiquetia airport to a Venezuelan Red Cross collection center in Caracas, witnesses said.

Some 3,100 volunteers will take part in the distribution of the supplies that arrived from Panama. Venezuela has suffered more than four years of recession marked by shortages of basic necessities, such as food and medicine.

The United Nations says a quarter of its 30 million population is in urgent need of aid.

Last week, Maduro and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) came to an agreement to allow in the humanitarian aid.

Supplies destined for Venezuela’s long-suffering population formed the basis of a stand-off between Maduro and the speaker of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, who launched a direct challenge to the president’s authority in January.

Guaido has since been recognized by more than 50 countries, including the United States, as Venezuela’s interim president.

But despite a highly publicized campaign, he failed to force humanitarian aid stockpiled over the border in Colombia into the country after the military — which remains loyal to Maduro — blockaded a bridge crossing.

Francisco Valencia, president of the Coalition of Organizations for the Right to Health and Life, voiced concerns over whether or not the aid would help the “more than 300,000 people in Venezuela with a high risk condition.”

(SD-Agencies)

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