Americares responds to flood-struck Venezuela Update 19 Jan 2000

Response: AmeriCares responded immediately to the devastating crisis in Venezuela. In a series of three airlifts within one week, AmeriCares delivered roughly 130,000 pounds of medical relief supplies. AmeriCares' first relief airlift, which included approximately 40,000 pounds of essential medicines, antibiotics, nutritional supplements and other relief materials, departed Fort Lauderdale International Airport December 22, arriving in Caracas later that day. The relief supplies were immediately delivered to hospitals throughout the nation. The second shipment arrived December 24 and included an additional 40,000 pounds of medicines, tetanus vaccines and other relief materials. AmeriCares' third airlift, which included 50,000 pounds of additional emergency relief items, departed December 29. Amerijet was the carrier for all three shipments. A shipment of tents, to house those left homeless by the floods, is scheduled to depart this week. AmeriCares is committed to helping the people of Venezuela for the duration of their recovery from this devastating crisis.
Situation: Weeks after flash floods and mudslides swept the Caribbean coast of Venezuela, officials fear another disaster. Heavy rains continue to pound the flood-ravaged nation. With meteorologists forcasting up to a month of further rains, Venezuelan authorities have ordered hundreds of flood survivors in settlements of Caracas to evacuate their hillside homes.

As many as 50,000 people were killed by the recent floods. An estimated 400,000 were left homeless after entire villages were blanketed with tons of mud and boulders. Worst hit was the coastal strip of Vargas state, an industrial and tourist area with a population of approximately 350,000. Officials estimate that damages will reach into the billions. The disaster, whose death toll exceeds that of Hurricane Mitch, was Venezuela's worst-ever natural disaster.

Credentials: Since its inception in 1982, AmeriCares has delivered nearly $3.7 million worth of relief supplies to Venezuela. AmeriCares is registered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (License #A0275), and we are a licensed drug wholesaler. We are also a licensed DEA Exporter (License #RA0178170). AmeriCares solicits donations of medicines, medical supplies, and other relief materials from manufacturers, and delivers them quickly and reliably to indigenous health and welfare professionals in over 130 countries around the world. Financial contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations are used to defray the cost of AmeriCares' programs. Every dollar donated to AmeriCares is leveraged to deliver over $20 worth of aid to individuals in need. Since 1982, AmeriCares has maintained an operating overhead that is less than 2%.

AmeriCares, 161 Cherry Street, New Canaan, CT 06840.