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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 28, 2003
11:57 AM
CONTACT:  American Red Cross
Amber Campbell, 202-639-3526, CampbellAm@usa.redcross.org
Update on Humanitarian Response from American Red Cross
 
WASHINGTON - March 28 -The American Red Cross will implement emergency relief activities in Iraq in full coordination with its partners within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the lead agency for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in all conflict situations, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation), and other National Societies.

The American Red Cross emergency response to the current crisis in Iraq has multiple dimensions. The aim is to support our partners to respond quickly, flexibly, and to fullest of the Movement's capacity. Together, the American Red Cross and its partners with the Movement have prepared and together we are responding. These are the highlights of the American Red Cross's contributions:

We are providing technical expertise to the relief operations -- The American Red Cross has positioned personnel in the region with expertise in logistics and relief management in order to respond quickly and effectively to the evolving needs of the people affected in Iraq and the surrounding region. Specific activities include the determination of needs, procurement of relief supplies, and distribution planning.

We are participating in both the ICRC and the Federation Appeals for this relief operation -- The American Red Cross understands that the nature of this conflict requires an emergency response that is fast-moving, tightly coordinated, neutral and impartial. To facilitate and support the speed and flexibility of the Movement's response, the American Red Cross is providing cash to support both Appeals.

We have pre-positioned stocks and are channeling supplies to the relief operations -- The American Red Cross embraces disaster readiness as a necessary component to a speedy and effective emergency response. To support the rapid delivery of relief items to those most vulnerable, the American Red Cross has pre-positioned stocks in the region including kitchen sets, hygiene parcels, blankets, tarps, and water containers. The American Red Cross immediately made available a portion of these supplies -- 34,000 blankets and 30,000 water containers, which are currently en route to the ICRC for distribution to the most vulnerable in Iraq.

We offer our Family Tracing Services -- In conjunction with the ICRC, the American Red Cross will facilitate the transfer of Red Cross Messages between individuals in Iraq and their family members in the United States.

For more information on American Red Cross services, visit http://www.redcross.org. For information on recent ICRC activities, visit http://www.icrc.org/eng. For information on recent International Federation activities, visit http://www.ifrc.org.

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