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American Red Cross Increases Chilean Earthquake Pledge to $250,000


The American Red Cross is responding to the strong 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile, increasing the initial pledge to $250,000 from its International Response Fund for relief operations.

In addition, following a request for assistance for Chile, the American Red Cross is now accepting donations specifically for response and recovery in Chile. This includes Chile-designated donations through www.redcross.org, through calls to 1-800-REDCROSS, and by texting “Chile” to 90999. People can also call 1-800-257-7575 to make a donation in Spanish.

The International Federation of the Red Cross on Tuesday made preliminary emergency appeal of $6.4 million to all Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in order to assist the Chilean Red Cross. The American Red Cross is accepting donations in response to this appeal.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Chile as they cope with the immediate aftermath of this earthquake and the continuing aftershocks,” says David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services with the American Red Cross. “Thanks to the generosity of the American people who previously donated to our International Relief Fund, we’ve been able to release an initial pledge to help the Chilean people in their hour of need and we stand ready to provide additional assistance.”

A regional member of the Red Cross global network is now in Chile assessing the situation and a small team of other Red Cross emergency workers are also on the ground supporting the Chilean Red Cross.

The global Red Cross network plans to assist 15,000 families with shelter, emergency medical care, water and sanitation services. They will also provide the Chilean Red Cross with communications support. The Chilean Red Cross has mobilized 150 volunteers in Santiago while local Red Cross branches work throughout Chile.

Chilean Red Cross disaster teams are working in close coordination with the Chilean government, providing limited search and rescue services, administering first aid and distributing pre-positioned supplies. The Chilean Red Cross is a member of the government’s emergency response group, which is leading the emergency operations and has a great deal of experience and systems in place to manage response to major disasters.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross and other Red Cross societies are continuing to support the relief operations in Haiti, where 1.9 million people have been helped since the January 12th earthquake in that country.

“As the largest humanitarian network in the world, the Red Cross has both the experience and the capacity to respond to multiple disasters at the same time,” Meltzer said. “We are supporting the Chilean Red Cross in their response to the earthquake while relief operations continue in Haiti.”

You can help the victims of countless crises, like the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti, around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation by either contacting 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish), or mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.