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Georgia crisis: Oxfam team to begin distributing medical supplies and blankets

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An Oxfam team in Georgia will begin distributing medical supplies to hospitals and blankets and other essential items to those displaced by the recent fighting. The initial aid effort is expected to be increased depending on the results of a rapid assessment which is underway.

Oxfam's local partner organization, Gyla, is assisting displaced people from the conflict areas to obtain official registration in order to qualify for humanitarian support and helping them to obtain necessary documents. Many of them were unable to take any personal belongings with them when they left their homes.

Keti Getiashvili, Oxfam's Georgia Director, said: "Initial reports indicate that the number of people displaced in Georgia will be at least 50-100,000. We are concerned that if the lull in fighting doesn't hold then these numbers will increase."

The crisis is not limited to Georgia. Some 23,500 people have fled to North Ossetia in Russia. Oxfam has offered its assistance to the Russian emergency ministry that is responding to the needs of these displaced people.

The international agency has a team of a dozen aid workers on the ground in Georgia and is flying out an extra two emergency aid experts to boost its response.

Oxfam welcomed the EU brokered truce which has allowed the aid effort to reach people and calls on the international community to do its utmost to ensure the peace holds and that a long lasting resolution to the crisis is found.

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