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The American Red Cross Sends Aid as Humanitarian Situation Worsens in Gaza
Date:1/5/2009

Ten days into the conflict, medical supplies remain most urgent need

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross is contributing $250,000 to support the ongoing work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to address the growing humanitarian needs from the conflict in the Gaza Strip.

"The American Red Cross contributions will help the ICRC address increasing humanitarian needs for medical support, hospital supplies, and relief distributions," says Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross.

ICRC staff on the ground in Gaza are reporting a shortage of medical personal, spare parts to keep hospital generators functioning, and medical supplies. The ICRC has mobilized additional staff including a surgical team, provided medical supplies to treat more than 4,000 people as well as 80 palettes of additional medical materials, distributed spare parts to hospitals to keep their generators operational, and is assisting in the repair of water, sewer, and electrical systems.

The ICRC is coordinating closely with the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and Magen David Adom (MDA), the Israel equivalent of the Red Cross, staff and volunteers which are both working in their respective areas transporting injured people to health facilities.

"The American Red Cross has a strong relationship with both the PRCS and the MDA," says David Meltzer, Senior Vice President of International Services at the American Red Cross. "We will continue to assess the humanitarian needs of our sister societies as the crisis continues and stand ready to provide additional assistance as needed."

The American Red Cross relationship with the societies is rooted in work to grant them membership in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation). Both societies were unanimously approved by members of the International Federation in June 2006.

In November 2008, the American Red Cross awarded the American Red Cross Humanitarian Prize to the leaders of the PRCS and the MDA in recognition of their work in fostering humanitarian cooperation between the two organizations despite significant political and military challenges.

You can help the victims of countless crises 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.


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SOURCE American Red Cross
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