Congress gives Red Cross $100 million
WASHINGTON – The American Red Cross said Tuesday it will receive $100 million in emergency funding from Congress to replenish its disaster relief reserves.
The Red Cross has spent about $260 million this year responding to natural disasters, including spring tornadoes, California wildfires and Midwestern floods, as well as hurricanes Gustav and Ike. To fund the relief, the charity took out loans totaling $200 million, Red Cross President Gail McGovern said.
“This has been an absolutely extraordinary year in terms of these big disasters and the challenges they bring,” McGovern said.
The Red Cross launched a national campaign three weeks ago to recoup some of those costs. The campaign has raised $42 million as of Tuesday, McGovern said. The charity needs about $60 million more to pay off its debt, and McGovern said she believes it will reach that goal in the coming weeks.