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American Red Cross Rushing Aid To Bangladesh

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American Red Cross Sends Aid to Bangladesh After Deadly Cyclone

The American Red Cross is rushing aid to the people of Bangladesh affected by Cyclone Sidr with help from the U.S. Government's Agency for International Development (USAID).

So far the storm has killed more than 3,000 people and injured more than 5,000, with numbers likely to rise. The storm also wiped out vital crops and destroyed tens of thousands of homes, leaving many families without shelter.

"The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society's early warning system and fast evacuation efforts greatly reduced the number of causalities; however significant needs remain, specifically clean water and emergency shelter," says Tracy Reines, Director of International Disaster Response for the American Red Cross.

"The generosity of USAID helps us get our aid quickly to a network of Red Cross and Red Crescent workers already on the ground."

The American Red Cross is responding to the emergency relief efforts of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society by providing more than $1.2 million in financial assistance--including a $1 million grant from USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance to provide clean water and emergency shelter.

The American Red Cross will also be deploying a water and sanitation disaster specialist.

The communities affected by the Cyclone Sidr were also impacted three years ago when the December 2004 tsunami hit the coastline of Bangladesh.

"The damage from the cyclone will undoubtedly set back progress in recovery made since the tsunami struck," says Jerry Anderson, Senior Director for the Tsunami Recovery Program.

"We are glad that our expertise in water and sanitation can be used to help the people of Bangladesh during this critical time."

Once the water and sanitation needs are identified, the American Red Cross will mobilize its specialists in the region to produce and transport safe drinking water and promote good hygiene practices to prevent water-borne diseases for the thousands of families affected by the cyclone.

The American Red Cross also has relief supplies on standby in Kuala Lumpur, which contains pre-positioned supplies such as tarps, kitchen sets, blankets, buckets, and insecticide-treated mosquito nets.


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