News

USIS Washington 
File

24 April 1998

TEXT: AMERICARES ANNOUNCES AIRLIFT OF MEDICAL AID TO IRAQ

(Supplies will be distributed to 20 medical facilities) (870)



Washington -- AmeriCares, a private relief organization, announced on
April 22 that it was flying 90,000 pounds of medical supplies to Iraq
on April 24 from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. This
non-governmental effort is the largest humanitarian mission to date to
Iraq and these supplies will be distributed to 20 medical facilities
around the country.


AmeriCares will begin an "American people to Iraqi people" series of
three airlifts to get medicines and medical supplies directly to
people throughout Iraq, especially children, who have been suffering
from severe medical and food shortages, according to a press release
issued by the organization.


Upon arriving in Baghdad, AmeriCares will work with the International
Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to deliver the
materials, the release said.


Following is the text of the AmeriCares release:



(Begin text)



For Immediate Release

April 22, 1998



AMERICARES TO AIRLIFT 90,000 POUNDS OF MEDICAL AID TO PEOPLE OF IRAQ



NEW YORK -- AmeriCares, the international disaster relief
organization, announced today it will depart April 24 for Baghdad with
nearly 90,000 pounds of medicines and medical supplies for the Iraqi
people.


AmeriCares will begin an "American people to Iraqi people" series of
three airlifts to get medicines and medical supplies directly to
people throughout Iraq, especially children, who have been suffering
from severe medical and food shortages.


"It has been clear for some time that the American people care about
the Iraqi people. AmeriCares is privileged to be acting on behalf of
the people of the United States in providing a helping hand to ease
some of the suffering of individuals throughout Iraq," said Robert C.
Macauley, founder and chairman of AmeriCares.


AmeriCares worked with the Clinton administration since late 1997 to
get approval for this humanitarian effort. The airlifts have received
the endorsement and encouragement of the Clinton Administration.


In a letter to AmeriCares founder and chairman Robert C. Macauley,
Eric P. Schwartz, Special Assistant to the President and Director for
Democracy, Human Rights, and Humanitarian Affairs of the National
Security Council, wrote:


"On behalf of the Administration, allow me to express appreciation to
you and the entire AmeriCares organization for your efforts in
organizing this important mission."


In making the arrangements to provide the relief shipment, AmeriCares
required the Iraqi government to agree to three conditions. First, all
medicines and medical supplies can only be used for the civilian
population severely impacted by shortages. Second, there can be no use
by the military of any part of the shipment. Third, AmeriCares
personnel must accompany the materials all the way to their point of
use.


"AmeriCares is designed to relieve suffering. It helps people
everywhere, no matter what their race, creed or political persuasion.
When people hurt, AmeriCares is there. It's the American way," said
Macauley.


AmeriCares will dispatch nearly 90,000 pounds aboard a cargo plane for
Baghdad, along with a special AmeriCares Team. The AmeriCares Team
will include Andrew L. Hannah and Guy L. Smith, AmeriCares vice
chairmen. Actor and AmeriCares volunteer Val Kilmer, Dr. Stephen
Winter of Yale University School of Medicine and Norwalk Hospital, a
member of AmeriCares' medical advisory committee, and AmeriCares staff
members John Connell and Mary Harrison also will be members of the
AmeriCares team.


The AmeriCares team will fly out of John F. Kennedy International
Airport, in New York City, aboard an Emery Air Freight DC-8. After an
intermediate stop in Amsterdam for additional medical supplies, it
will continue to Amman, Jordan. From Amman, the Jordanian Air Force
will assist AmeriCares in transporting the medicines from Jordan to
Baghdad.


AmeriCares has worked since late 1997 gathering donated medicines and
medical supplies form major U.S. pharmaceutical companies for the
series of airlifts. The AmeriCares team will deliver the medicines and
medical supplies, comprised of antibiotics, painkillers, basic
surgical materials, various hospital supplies, pediatric and maternity
supplies, as well as nutritional supplements to hospitals and clinics
in Iraq.


Upon arriving in Baghdad, Americares will work with the International
Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies to deliver the
materials.


"Today is a day to extend a hand of friendship to the people of Iraq.
And now that the threat of hostilities has been reduced, there is no
better time to create a human bridge between individual Americans and
individual Iraqi citizens. Individuals everywhere can make a positive
difference and it is our hope that AmeriCares' actions over the next
several months will open up communication and understanding between
citizens of both countries," said Mr. Macauley.


AmeriCares is the private, not-for-profit disaster and humanitarian
relief organization based in New Canaan, CT. Active at home and in
more than 110 countries around the world, AmeriCares has delivered
more than $1.7 billion worth of donated medicine and relief supplies
since its founding in 1981.


-- This release has been distributed by Campus Release Network, LLC,
Norwalk, CT. For problems with delivery, please contact us at
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