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Direct Relief's Corporate Partners Key to Aiding Cyclone Victims

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., May 9 /PRNewswire-USNewsire/ -- U.S. corporations providing critical medicines and supplies to help victims of the Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar are relying upon their long-time partner, Direct Relief International, to ensure that the aid will reach the people and organizations who need it most.

"It's important to remember the complete story of the humanitarian effort directed at Myanmar starts with the people and organizations that provide the supplies that will be used on the ground," says Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief president and CEO. "It's their generous contributions that enable us, and the field clinics we work with, to help more people."

Direct Relief is currently planning to airlift more than $200,000 worth of medical aid to the region, thanks to contributions from Abbott, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim, the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, MedVantx, Mylan Laboratories, Midmark and Sappo Hill Soapworks. Also, thanks to a partnership with Google, Direct Relief has collected more than $60,000 in contributions, 100 percent of which will go to provide aid and support for cyclone victims.

As for the corporate partners, it's Direct Relief's unique connections to clinics and field staff in country throughout the world that make it easy for them to get involved in relief efforts.

"Abbott is working with partners such as Direct Relief to deliver life-saving medicines and nutritionals needed to meet the urgent health needs of the people of Myanmar," said Cathy Babington, president of Abbott Fund.

Tighe says Direct Relief's Asia program officer is currently on route to Thailand to explore logistics avenues and conduct a needs assessment, adding that the response from Direct Relief's corporate partners has been so great that he expects the planned airlift to be the first of many. Included in this first aid package are basic antibiotics as well as needed medical supplies specifically requested by health clinic partners in the region.

Direct Relief International provides medical assistance to improve the quality of life for people victimized by poverty, disaster and civil unrest. It is a non-sectarian, non-governmental and entirely privately funded. All programs are provided in a non-discriminatory manner, without regard to political affiliation, religious belief, or ethnic identity. One hundred percent of all cash donations go to programs, and not to administration or fundraising. Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, it was founded in 1948.

SOURCE Direct Relief International
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