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American Red Cross latest updates on Haiti

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The Red Cross is performing triage, first aid, addressing urgent needs and mobilizing a massive response operation in Haiti. A base camp has been secured near the airport with warehousing facilities for relief supply staging.

A five-member American Red Cross team has arrived in Port-au-Prince, joining the 15-person staff we already had on the ground and 12 Red Cross teams that arrived from other countries yesterday. Among them are engineers, surgeons and family linking specialists. These teams will establish field hospitals, restore water and sanitation systems, distribute supplies and restore family links facilities.

Three planes carrying Red Cross humanitarian assistance were expected to land Friday in Port-au-Prince, if they are not re-routed. The first one carries a field hospital and the second carries tarps, blankets, hygiene items, buckets, shelter supplies and kitchen sets, and the third contained tarps, blankets, hygiene items, buckets, shelter supplies and kitchen sets.

The Red Cross provided blood and blood products to the US Naval Air Station in Jacksonville,Florida. That blood, requested by the US Navy, was shipped by the US Navy to their facilities atGuantanamo Bay, Cuba in support of medical evacuees from Haiti. In addition, the American Red Cross sent a shipment of blood products to the United Nations Mission in Haiti.

International Committee of the Red Cross workers in Port-au-Prince have provided medical assistance to five major hospitals and clinics, as well as to smaller facilities set up by local doctors in areas with a high concentration of earthquake survivors.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is supporting efforts to ensure the bodies of the dead can be recovered and identified for the families.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is also helping to reconnect separated families within the country. They have established a special Web site, enabling persons in Haiti and abroad to search for and register the names of relatives missing since the earthquake: www.icrc.org/familylinks. Within 48 hours of its launch, more than 13,800 visited the site looking for loved ones. About 1,100 people have registered on the site from Haiti to inform their loved ones that they are safe and well.

Since the earthquake struck on Tuesday, the American Red Cross has raised nearly $60 million (as of Friday afternoon)- and we know we are going to spend much more than that to help the people of Haiti. The American Red Cross has already released $10 million for relief efforts in Haiti, we will certainly add more. Future allocations will be made once we know more about the situation on the ground in Haiti and the greatest needs in both the short term and in the long term.

The American people have responded with incredible generosity to the people of Haiti, and donations have exceeded the total amounts received in the first 48 hours of both Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

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