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Pakistani President Honors Relief Work of American Red Cross.
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Amanda Mark
September 22, 2006

Saluting the American Red Cross for its aid in the wake of a devastating earthquake nearly one year ago, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf presented the “Star of Sacrifice” award to Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, chairman of the American Red Cross, at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The award, known in Pakistan as the “Sitara-i-Eisaar,” is the government’s recognition of outstanding contributions made by international agencies, community groups and individuals to earthquake relief and rehabilitation work.

Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman, American Red Cross received the honor of “Sitara-i-Eisaar” from Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf at a ceremony held at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Washington, D.C.

“I am deeply honored to accept this award from President Musharraf in recognition of the American Red Cross partnership with the Pakistani Red Crescent and the Government of Pakistan as we provided critically needed assistance following last year’s devastating earthquake,” McElveen-Hunter said Thursday.

On Oct. 8, 2005, an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale decimated thousands of villages across northern Pakistan and northern India – killing more than 73,000 people and leaving more than 3.5 million homeless.

According to American Red Cross Spokesperson Carol Miller, the Red Cross responded quickly to provide experienced staff and contributed more than $14 million to relief efforts.

“Our goal was to provide essential shelter and basic household items with an objective of helping the affected people stay warm and improve their daily living conditions before the brutal Pakistani winter set in,” Miller explained.

Among other emergency relief aid, the Red Cross provided $1.5 million worth of corrugated iron sheeting to help reinforce damaged homes and build temporary shelters. The Red Cross also donated more than 30,500 bed sheets, 28,000 water containers, 152,900 heavy quilts, 70,000 wool blankets and 50,000 wool shawls.

Almost one year later, the American Red Cross continues to support recovery efforts in Pakistan , working with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society and other national societies within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Currently, the American Red Cross is implementing a mother and child health program in the earthquake-affected area. The two-year program focuses on teaching mothers about preventable diseases, reproductive health, hygiene and sanitation, using community volunteers and local health service providers.

“This award truly belongs to the American people,” McElveen-Hunter said. “Were it not for their generous contributions, we would not have been able to extend a helping hand to those in need. As we continue our vital health work in Pakistan, we are grateful to all our partners and donors for their continued support and friendship.”

You can help those affected by countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. Call 1-800-RED CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation.

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