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Italy recovery will be "long and complex"

17 April 2009

Italian Red Cross food distribution after earthquakeAlpozzi-Scuderi (Italian Red Cross)Two weeks after the powerful earthquake that struck L’Aquila, Italy, Red Cross volunteers are still hard at work supporting thousands of people left homeless.

Around 28,000 people lost their homes on 6 April in the earthquake, which measured 6.3 on the Richter scale and killed around 290 people.

More than 750 Italian Red Cross volunteers and staff are working in the areas hit by the earthquake, running tent camps and soup kitchens in close partnership with the Italian authorities.

Vital support

The Italian Red Cross is directly managing five camps, with beds for 4,500 people. Meanwhile, its five soup kitchens are providing 22,000 meals a day, both to people affected by the earthquake and humanitarian workers in the region.

Two playrooms are now open in one of the camps, containing toys, games and footballs, and able to accommodate 100 children. Further playrooms will be opened in the next few days.

There are also teams of volunteer psychologists working in the camps, offering practical and emotional support to those affected by the disaster.

Six Red Cross medical posts are also operational in the area, including teams of volunteer doctors and nurses to provide medical aid and assistance to those who need it, and 30 Red Cross ambulances are available to support the emergency services.

Recovery phase

Funds are still urgently needed to continue to provide this support for as long as it is needed and to start the long process of recovery.

Pete Garrett, British Red Cross disaster relief manager, said: “The operation now moves into a recovery and rehabilitation phase, which given the devastation caused by the earthquake is expected to take considerable time and significant resources.  The Italian Red Cross is preparing a prioritised plan of action to meet these needs."

Read more about the Italy Earthquake Appeal