Operation Blessing International responding to Italy quake

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 6, 2009)

  • The humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International is sending its director of international disaster relief, David Darg, to Italy to assist with relief and recovery operations in response to the deadly earthquake that struck central Italy early Monday.

Darg, who for the last year has led the charity's earthquake response in Sichuan Province, China, will arrive in the Italian quake zone late Tuesday and will assess the damage. A first priority will be providing diesel-powered generators to restore clean drinking water to the hardest hit areas.

David Darg has been a part of OBI's team since 2001, providing strategic direction, management and logistical support of Operation Blessing's international disaster relief efforts. His experiences have included aiding war refugees in Sudan, Kenya and Somalia, being one of the few aid workers permitted entry into cyclone-devastated Myanmar, and managing one of OBI's most significant projects to date - the rebuilding of an entire village in Yao Jin, China that was destroyed by an earthquake in 2008.

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Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2008, OBI responded to 33 disasters in 16 foreign countries as well as 7 major domestic disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornadoes as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major disaster relief efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to organizations including the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 209.3 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $1.7 billion to date.