WASHINGTON, May 11 Today, a commercial airplanecarrying the first shipment of American Red Cross relief supplies touched downin Yangon, Myanmar, to assist survivors of cyclone Nargis. This newly arrivedshipment includes an initial supply of 8,000 insecticide-treated mosquito netsto help prevent the spread of malaria.
"This is a very critical time for survivors, who are exposed to theelements and vulnerable to diseases, like malaria," said David Meltzer, seniorvice president, International Services for the American Red Cross. "Our staffand many others in the humanitarian community are working around the clock toprovide assistance as quickly as we can."
As of Friday, May 9, three planeloads of supplies from a Red Cross and RedCrescent warehouse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, had arrived in Myanmar, bringingin more than 14 tons of shelter material and other emergency items. Thesematerials, along with stocks from local warehouses-such as hygiene kits, food,water purification tablets, and mosquito nets-are being distributed by theMyanmar Red Cross, who has at least 27,000 volunteers assisting with reliefefforts.
"There are considerable challenges to getting relief supplies into thehardest hit areas," said Meltzer. "But this is the priority right now: to getsurvivors the assistance they need."
So far, the American Red Cross has made available $250,000 in reliefsupplies, including 10,000 tarps and an additional 12,000 mosquito nets, whichwill be delivered in the coming days. In addition, the American Red Cross hascommitted $1.25 million for this relief effort, which includes a pledge of $1million from the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of ForeignDisaster Assistance. The American Red Cross will continue to be in closecontact with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red CrescentSocieties and its other partners to determine further options- includingrelief items, financial support and personnel-to help people in the affectedarea.
You can help those affected by countless crises around the world each yearby making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International ResponseFund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support throughsupplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. Call1-800-RED CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to theInternational Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Crosschapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure onlinecontribution by visiting www.redcross.org. The American Red Cross honors donorintent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster pleasedo so at the time of your donation.
SOURCE American Red Cross