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Mellon Foundation Gives $500,000 to CARE for Emergency Programs

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Funds will support crucial, rapid first response to disasters
ATLANTA (February 2, 2000) - The international relief and development organization CARE has been awarded a $500,000 matching grant for its emergency fund from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The fund will support immediate, short-term assistance to help people recover from small-scale disasters or to begin recovering from more complex, large-scale emergencies.

"The grant from Mellon will help us provide the first crucial response during emergencies such as natural disasters," explains Marge Tsitouris, who oversees CARE's emergency group. "Last year, CARE provided more than $900,000 worth of emergency assistance to help people recover from disasters."

Most recently, CARE has used its emergency fund to help people recover from a volcano in Ecuador, an earthquake in Peru, deadly cyclones in Orissa, India, floods in Vietnam and to assist those displaced by the conflicts in East Timor and Kosovo. CARE now is preparing to provide food and other assistance to thousands of Angolan refugees living in refugee camps along the Zambia border.

"Everyone knows about the events in Kosovo but not everyone knows about the recent earthquake in Peru," notes Tsitouris, who coordinated CARE's relief response to the Hurricane Mitch disaster in Honduras and the refugee crisis in Kosovo. "Those 2,000 people in Peru need food and assistance just as badly as the 200,000 refugees in Kosovo. An emergency is just as devastating and life-threatening for people living in a small community in South America as it is to those living in the Balkans."

Under the terms of the grant, CARE must raise $500,000 in matching funds for its emergency responses over a three-year period and keep a pool of $1 million readily available for emergency response activities.

CARE is one of the world's largest private relief and development organizations, with projects in more than 60 countries. Last year, CARE directly improved the lives of more than 25 million people in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Tens of millions more - family and community members alike - benefited indirectly from CARE projects addressing the complex problem of poverty.

CONTACT: Amy Lynn O'Toole, (404) 681-4579, ext. 453