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U.S. Aid for International Committee of the Red Cross

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(State Department announces almost $74 million for ICRC) (440)
The U.S. Department of State announced March 28 a $73.8 million contribution to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a Geneva-based humanitarian organization providing assistance in areas of armed conflict throughout the world.

This latest contribution brings U.S. support of the ICRC to a total of $83 million dollars in 2000. The statement says the United States is the largest single donor to the ICRC, which is currently operating in such places as Sierra Leone, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Congo, Angola, Myanmar and the Middle East.

Following is the text of the statement:

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
March 28, 2000

STATEMENT BY JAMES B. FOLEY, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN

U.S. Contributes $73.8 Million to ICRC

The United States is pleased to announce a new contribution of $73.8 (million) to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Our contribution includes $8.7 million for headquarters operations and $64.1 million in response to ICRC's emergency appeals for field operations. We have specified $1 million of the contribution for the organization's programs on behalf of women and girl children in armed conflict in fulfillment of our pledge at the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. Previous FY 2000 contributions for ICRC emergency appeals were for the Timor ($4 million) and Chechnya ($5.4 million) emergency appeals.

Today's announcement brings the total United States contribution to ICRC in FY 2000 to $83.2 million. The United States is the largest single contributor to the ICRC.

The Geneva based organization provides humanitarian assistance throughout the world in areas of armed conflict. The ICRC staff of over 10,000 conducts operations in some 80 countries. ICRC is currently operating in such places as Sierra Leone, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Congo, Angola, Myanmar, as well as across the Middle East. ICRC programs in more than 30 countries assist and protect more than 5,000,000 internally displaced persons. The ICRC is often the only international organization allowed to move freely within occupied territories, to cross combatant lines, to access prisoners or detention centers, and to act as an intermediary in POW exchanges. The United States has the highest regard for the difficult and often dangerous work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in providing assistance and protection to victims of conflict. Our contributions are indicative of our strong support for the crucial role of ICRC in international humanitarian assistance.

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(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: usinfo.state.gov)