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American Red Cross Increases Chilean Earthquake Pledge to $500,000

To respond to increasing needs following the Chile earthquake, the American Red Cross has doubled its pledge to $500,000 for relief operations and is providing 5,000 water-carrying cans from its warehouse in Panama to be distributed to those in need by the Chilean Red Cross.

“Everyday we learn more about the destruction facing those affected by the earthquake in Chile,” says David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services with the American Red Cross. “Generous donations from the American people are enabling us to help the Chilean people.”

The Chilean Red Cross is providing first aid and psychosocial support to survivors affected by the February 27 earthquake. Other global Red Cross societies are responding as well. The Spanish and Japanese Red Cross national societies will help establish emergency response units to provide basic health care support for the affected people in Chile. Volunteers in the hardest hit areas are distributing pre-positioned supplies to those in need as well.

The $500,000 American Red Cross pledge will support the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ disaster response plan to aid the people of Chile through a $6.4 million appeal. This international assistance will provide relief supplies, emergency shelter, basic health care, water and sanitation support for an estimated 75,000 people. The plan also includes support to the Chilean Red Cross for communications and damage assessment assistance.

The American Red Cross financial pledge for Chile earthquake relief is in part made possible through foundation support to the International Response Fund, including those who give to the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP). Contributors to the fund include American Express, General Motors Foundation, John Deere Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Morgan Stanley and State Street Foundation.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross and other Red Cross societies from around the world continue to support relief operations in Haiti, where 1.9 million people have been helped since the January 12 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.”