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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
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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