Press Release: American Red Cross Contributes an Initial $10 Million to Assist Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Survivors

March 15, 2011

American Red Cross Contributes an Initial $10 Million to Assist Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Survivors

[WASHINGTON, DC] March 15, 2011 – The American Red Cross today announced an initial contribution of $10 million to the Japanese Red Cross Society to assist in its ongoing efforts to provide medical care and relief assistance to the people of Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

“We are grateful for the American public’s generosity and compassion following what has been declared one of the most devastating earthquakes in history,” said David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services with the American Red Cross. “The American Red Cross is in a unique position to help channel that support to our partner in Japan that is playing a critical humanitarian role and comforting the survivors.”

In addition to financial assistance, a disaster management expert from the American Red Cross arrived in Japan Monday for a week-long mission. She is serving on a seven-person, international team focused on providing high-level support and advice to the Japanese Red Cross, which continues to support the Japanese government’s earthquake and tsunami response.

The Japanese Red Cross is a highly experienced disaster relief organization with two million volunteers nationwide. Many local volunteers took immediate action following the disaster by distributing relief items, offering hot meals, clearing debris and providing medical transportation.

As concerns mount about damage to nuclear power plants in the north, the Japanese Red Cross is also focused on supporting the 200,000 people who have been evacuated from the exclusion zone. Many of the Japanese Red Cross branch offices have trained nuclear decontamination teams and equipment, including special tents for decontamination which can be used to support a government response. A specialist medical team at the Nagasaki Red Cross hospital is on standby, ready to receive patients if people become ill as a result of radiation poisoning. Other hospitals in the area are monitoring radiation levels to protect the patients they are currently treating.

At public shelters and throughout the country, local volunteers are handing out relief items, including more than 65,000 blankets which are of great comfort to the displaced, many of whom had been sleeping outdoors, in their vehicles and wherever else they can find space since the earthquake.

“There is a real concern for the elderly, who are extremely vulnerable to hypothermia,” said Meltzer. “Japan is a country with a high proportion of seniors, and the Red Cross will be doing all it can to support them through this dreadful experience.”

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Press Release: Red Cross Prepares in Haiti as Hurricane Tomas Threatens

November 2, 2010

Red Cross Prepares in Haiti as Hurricane Tomas Threatens

WASHINGTON, Monday, November 01, 2010 – The Red Cross is activating its emergency plans in Haiti, with government officials describing Hurricane Tomas as potentially the gravest hurricane threat to the country since Hurricane Ike in 2008.

As of Monday, November 1, weather forecasters said Tomas could begin to affect Haiti as early as Tuesday, causing heavy rain and strong winds that could affect communities living along the country’s southern coast.

With hundreds of thousands of people living in makeshift camps in and around the capital Port-au-Prince as a result of the January 12th earthquake, Haiti’s population is especially vulnerable to heavy winds and rain.

What the Red Cross is doing to prepare
The Red Cross has been preparing for the threat of a hurricane since February. At present, emergency stocks for 17,000 families are in Haiti and ready to be deployed to disaster-affected communities. Additional supplies for 8,000 families have also been called in from the Red Cross network’s regional logistics hub in Panama.

“We are working closely with the government to ensure that our plans are coordinated,” said Dr. Michaèle Amédée Gédéon, president of the Haitian Red Cross Society.

Ever since the January quake, the Red Cross has been supporting communities to better ready themselves for possible hurricanes and storms. To date, Red Cross volunteers have reached tens of thousands of people living in makeshift camps through disaster preparedness projects. Volunteers have worked with community residents to help them dig drainage ditches, sandbag hillsides and create evacuation routes. In addition, Red Cross volunteers have provided emergency first aid training, and handed out waterproof bags that contain safety messages and can be used to store and protect important documents.

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Haiti Update: Top-Line Facts

February 22, 2010

In just over one month since the earthquake in Haiti, the Red Cross has helped more than 1.3 million people and will continue to aid hundreds of thousands more in the months ahead until the last donated dollar is spent.

The American Red Cross has spent or allocated $80 million of the $284 million donated to meet the most urgent needs of Haiti’s earthquake survivors.

  • To meet urgent needs, 69 percent of the funds spent or committed by the American Red Cross have been for food and water; 20 percent have been for shelter; and the rest are for health and family services.
  • Because of the generosity of donors, people in Haiti will receive more than immediate relief — they will receive resources, support and training from the Red Cross that will help them recover and rebuild in the years ahead.
  • As the response progresses and recovery begins the Red Cross will continue to support these priority areas and longer-term assistance initiatives. The Red Cross will continue to invest the money entrusted to us by the American people in the most responsible way until the last donated dollar is spent.
    Water & Sanitation:

  • The Red Cross has delivered more than 25 million liters of safe drinking water in 110 different settlements since the earthquake. That translates to approximately 1.25 million liters per day – enough for 320,000 people.
  • To address sanitation needs and prevent the spread of disease, 450 latrines have also been installed.
  • Health:

  • More than 20,000 people have been treated by Red Cross health care facilities and mobile teams. That translates to approximately more than 1,000 patients per day. These hospitals and clinics will continue to provide medical services for the community for at least the next five months.
  • The American Red Cross has also donated more than 900 units of blood for earthquake survivors.
  • In partnership with the Haitian government and UN agencies, the Red Cross is helping to promote a vaccination campaign in Haiti to protect children against measles and other infectious diseases. So far, nearly 15,000 have been vaccinated. This first phase of the campaign will continue for at least four more weeks and aims to reach 250,000 people.
  • 15 million text messages have been sent to survivors, sharing important health messages, such as how to prevent the spread of disease and safely prepare food outdoors.
  • Restoring Family Links:

  • Caseworkers are helping people register at the official family linking Web site, place phone calls to loved ones abroad and find family members scattered throughout different settlements in Port-au-Prince. So far, nearly 33,000 people have been assisted in this way.
  • The American Red Cross is also supporting Haitian-Americans and others living in the United States who are looking for immediate relatives in Haiti.

Haiti Earthquake: One Month Progress Report

February 12, 2010
View this document on Scribd

Earthquake in Haiti: Top-Line Facts

February 3, 2010

The American Red Cross has spent or committed nearly $78 million to meet the most urgent needs of earthquake survivors.

Read the rest of this entry »


Earthquake in Haiti: Update #36

January 21, 2010

In just the first week of the Haiti response effort, the American Red Cross already has spent or committed $34 million (approximately 25 percent of what has been pledged or received) as of Thursday, January 21.

* The infrastructure of Haiti is severely damaged-airports are clogged, roads are treacherous, and there is no large seaport available. This is causing bottlenecks and making it very difficult to get aid into the hands of survivors. Despite those problems, aid is starting to slowly make its way to those who need help.
* We want aid to move faster, too. But it’s going to take government and relief agencies working together quickly to establish security and expand and repair, airports, roads and seaports to get the relief supplies moving.
* We know this relief effort will take place in two phases: The short term relief effort is underway now and will continue for many weeks. We are starting to plan for a long term recovery effort that will continue for months, if not years.
* In just the first week of the short term relief operation we’ve committed and spent funds in three basic areas: food and water, relief supplies and logistical and support services.
* 50 percent of what has been committed or spent is being used to bring food and water to earthquake survivors. The American Red Cross is providing more 3 million pre-packaged meals, more than 1 million water purification packets and thousands of jerry cans so people can collect and transport clean drinking water.
* 30 percent of what has been committed or spent so far is purchasing and distributing relief supplies. This includes items such as blanket, tarps, soap, hygiene supplies, kitchen sets and first aid supplies.
* 20 percent of what has been committed or spent is providing the logistical support and other items needed to keep the relief effort running. This includes the purchase of vehicles to deliver relief supplies, warehouse space, gasoline, transportation costs and the deployment of our relief specialists. This category also includes the costs associated with the training and deployment of nearly 70 Creole speaking volunteers to the USNS Comfort.
* The American Red Cross is one part of the international relief operation in Haiti. While many of these items are being distributed by our own workers on the ground, we are also providing supplies, food and logistical items to other Red Cross societies and groups, such as the World Food Program to assist in their efforts.
* This is only the beginning of the American Red Cross relief and recovery effort for Haiti. Over the next several days and weeks, as the international relief effort will grow so will the monetary commitment of the American Red Cross. Right now, it’s important to get relief there as quickly as possible, but also be thoughtful and responsible in how we spend the funds the American people have entrusted to us.
* We want to ensure that we manage our money wisely so we can ensure that long term relief is available as well. We are already looking at how the American Red Cross can help meet longer term needs such as providing reliable shelter, water and sanitation systems.


Pacific Islands Tsunami: Eyewitness Report

October 14, 2009

 Spiritual Care Volunteer

Tim Serban offers a hug and emotional support to tsunami victim Taitasi Fitao. Serban is the volunteer spiritual care adviser among the 88 American Red Cross workers who flew to American Samoa to help with recovery from the tsunami. While his fellow Red Cross workers assist with residents’ physical recovery from the tsunami, Serban and his partners in Red Cross mental health are addressing the psychological and spiritual needs of the residents. Their work as part of Red Cross Disaster Services is supported by donations to the Disaster Relief Fund of the American Red Cross.

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