Tens of millions spent or committed for key priorities of food, water and shelter
WASHINGTON, Thursday, January 28, 2010 — In an operation that has involved more emergency response teams than any other single-country disaster in global Red Cross history, the American Red Cross has so far spent or committed more than $67 million to meet the most urgent needs of earthquake survivors in Haiti.
The American Red Cross is currently focusing on three areas through its emergency responders and partners:
- Sending food to those in need, including 3 million pre-packaged meals and funding for World Food Program efforts that will enable them to feed up to 1 million people for a month.
- Providing clean drinking water, including 3.5 million liters distributed to date in 68 settlements. Each day, the Red Cross is distributing enough water for 100,000 people.
- Distributing shelter items, such as blankets, tarps, sleeping mats and tents, to families who have been left homeless.
The Red Cross is also meeting the health needs of Haitian survivors and providing support to Haitian families in Haiti and the US. This includes providing relief supplies, shipment of blood products, family linking services and providing Red Cross volunteers to the USNS Comfort, which have been in Haiti for one week.
To date, 79 percent of the funds have been committed or spent on food and water; 18 percent on shelter items; and the remainder on health and family services.
More than 49 flights carrying Red Cross aid have arrived in Haiti. Additional planes, ships and trucks carrying Red Cross humanitarian assistance are en route. For example, yesterday, 15 trucks of relief supplies arrived from Santo Domingo. A new Red Cross warehouse with more than 50,000 square feet of capacity is also now operational in Port-au-Prince, which means that relief supplies have a safe place to be stored ahead of distribution.
Although the current focus is on addressing urgent needs, the American Red Cross is also looking ahead and applying experience gained after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. For the past five years, the American Red Cross has been working with partners in Southeast Asia to construct water and sanitation systems, provide emotional support and health care, build shelters, restore livelihoods and prepare communities for the next disaster. The American Red Cross plans to offer a similar level of support in close collaboration with Red Cross partners and other international and local aid organizations in Haiti.
People can donate in support of the relief effort in Haiti at http://www.redcross.org or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS. Mobile donors can text “Haiti” to 90999 to make a $10 contribution. A $10 donation made through mobile giving can provide a family with two water cans to store clean drinking water, basic first aid supplies or a blanket appropriate to the climate.
You can help the victims of countless crises, like the recent earthquake in 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 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. Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at http://www.redcross.org.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit http://www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.