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Merlin assisting at the Afghan-Tajik border

Added: (Fri Sep 21 2001)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Merlin, the UK based charity that provides healthcare in crises, is equipped to provide assistance to thousands of vulnerable Afghans, Internally Displaced People and settlers on the Northern border with Tajikistan.

A force of over 60 Merlin staff, experienced in disaster preparedness and medical relief, is on the ground at the border where it has been helping for the past year. They are backed up by Merlin's strong infrastructure in Tajikistan, and extensive supply network including emergency health kits.

Chief Executive, Warren Lancaster, said " Merlin considers human life to be precious and joins the international community in condemning terrorism in every form. At this time, Merlin has not evacuated any staff and we intend to increase our preparedness to assist what we expect to be thousands more Afghan victims of terror, fleeing from war and an oppressive crackdown in their own country. "

Merlin will use its long-standing good relations with the Tajik authorities, and experience with and links to the refugee community, to provide healthcare, mobile clinics and relief supplies. "We appeal to the general public to support our ongoing emergency assistance in this humanitarian crisis. " said Mr Lancaster.

Merlin continues to provide support for thousands of refugees stranded on islands in the River Pianj, a stones-throw from Afghanistan's Northern border with Tajikistan where Merlin has for 9 months been the only agency providing healthcare to thousands of Afghan women and children.

For further information contact

Lena Young, Head of Development
Email: lyoung@merlin.org.uk - Tel: 020 7378 4888

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