(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman's Ofice)

Israel today (Wednesday, 20 Sep.) sent an emergency shipment of humanitarian aid to Cote d'Ivoire, in response to an international appeal by its government for help following the recent ecological and health disaster caused by the spillage of poisonous waste in the lagoon surrounding the capital, Abidjan.

The aid shipment comprises primarily antibiotics and medical equipment for treating poisoning victims, whose number is estimated several score thousand. This assistance is an expression of the traditionally close and friendly relations between Israel and Cote d'Ivoire.

The charge d'affaires of the Israeli Embassy in Abidjan, Ravit Bar, will present the humanitarian aid shipment in a formal ceremony next week to the local Health Ministry.

Israel has responded to requests for aid from several African countries over the past year, starting with flood relief a year ago to the Central African Republic. Some six months ago a rescue team from the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command was sent to Kenya to extract victims buried in a collapsed building in Nairobi. Recently Israel sent disaster aid to flood-stricken Ethiopia.

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