New Canaan, CT (December 22, 1999) - AmeriCares, the international disaster relief organization, announced that it will airlift 150,000 pounds of medical relief supplies, in a series of three airlifts, to flood-struck Venezuela. The first relief shipment, which will include approximately 50,000 pounds of essential medicines, antibiotics, nutritional supplements, personal hygiene products and other relief materials will depart Fort Lauderdale International Airport today, arriving at La Guaira airport in Caracas by early afternoon. The second and third shipments will include 100,000 pounds of additional medicines, blankets, tetanus vaccines, tents and other relief materials, and will depart December 24 and 27 respectively. Amerijet will be the carrier for all three shipments.
"Once again, our supporters have made it possible for AmeriCares to respond immediately in the face of crisis," says Robert C. Macauley, AmeriCares Founder and Chairman. "This initial shipment of supplies to Venezuela will be the first of many, as the recovery process from this disaster will be a long and painful one."
As many as 30,000 people were killed by mudslides and flash floods that swept the Caribbean coast of Venezuela last week. Approximately 150,000 are homeless after entire towns were blanketed with tons of mud and boulders. Officials estimate that damages will reach into the billions. The disaster, whose death toll exceeds that of Hurricane Mitch, is the worst-ever to hit Venezuela.
Since its inception in 1982, AmeriCares has delivered nearly $3.7 million worth of relief supplies to Venezuela. AmeriCares is the largest private nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that provides immediate response to emergency medical needs-- and supports long-term healthcare programs-- for all people around the world, irrespective of race, creed, or political persuasion. To help continue our relief efforts, please call AmeriCares at 1-800-486-HELP, or send your cash donations to AmeriCares, 161 Cherry Street, New Canaan, CT 06840. AmeriCares also has its own website at www.americares.org.