MARCH 27, 2003
Adrienne Leicester Smith, 617-728-2406; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Internet Users Raise Over $600,000 in 6 Days
for Oxfam's Humanitarian Relief Fund for Iraqi People
- March 27 - Responding to the exploding humanitarian crisis facing
innocent children and adults in war-torn Iraq, 8,400 Internet
users donated more than $641,000 in just six days via the Web
to a humanitarian relief fund organized by Oxfam America. MoveOn.org
sent out an email Friday night encouraging its list of more than
2 million activists to donate to Oxfam via its website at http://www.oxfamamerica.org.
war even started, nearly a half a million Iraqi children suffered
from malnutrition and more than 16 million Iraqi people rely on
limited food supplies from the United Nations," said Raymond C.
Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America. "Now that war is underway,
food distribution has stopped and access to clean water has become
increasingly difficult. We know from the last Gulf War that most
civilians died from cholera and other diseases related to dirty
of Americans have responded to the challenge to ensure sufficient
food, clean water, temporary housing and medical supplies are
available," added Offenheiser. "This unprecedented outpouring
of support via the Internet will go far in aiding the innocents
caught in this conflict."
Oxfam has been
hard at work to prepare camps for possible refugee flows along
the border of Iraq. Camp Ruweishid, in Jordan, is already up and
running with full water and sanitation capabilities for 10,000
people. Working under the auspices of the UN at all times, Oxfam
is also equipping camps in Iran and Syria. Oxfam engineers are
also busy training other UN staff. Oxfam is poised to enter Iraq
as soon as it is safe.
"We have just
scratched the surface in the depth of relief needed while the
war wages on. When the war ends, it will take a monumental effort
just to begin repairing and rebuilding the lives of millions of
children, families and senior citizens in Iraq," Offenheiser concluded.
"We now know the Internet can be a major tool to raise funds for
the major humanitarian work to come."
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