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Northern Nevada Red Cross commemorates World Refugee Day



Around the world, an estimated 10 million people have been forced to flee their home countries due to conflict or disaster. In recognition of World Refugee Day, held on June 20 every year, the American Red Cross is joining with partners around the world to call attention to the plight of refugees affected by disasters, armed conflict and other situations of violence.

Today, the Northern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross in Reno and our Red Cross and Red Crescent partners around the world are reaffirming the needs of refugees and the importance of helping them nearby and from a distance. Locally, the American Red Cross is promoting awareness of a free program called Restoring Family Links.

Everyday, the American Red Cross—as part of its International Family Tracing Services program—transmits messages from all over the world to reconnect families who have lost touch with their loved ones. Globally, in 2007, the Red Cross and Red Crescent network facilitated the exchange of 485,000 messages between families separated by conflict. In addition, since the opening of the Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center in 1990, the fates of more than 43,000 individuals have been clarified.

“Armed conflicts and disasters leave millions of people around the globe in urgent need of humanitarian assistance every year,” said Tanya Milelli, emergency services director. “While providing shelter and relief supplies are the most visible ways we help, the American Red Cross also makes a difference around the world, as well as here at home, through our Restoring Family Links program.”

The American Red Cross has recently worked on behalf of 12,500 people from countries such as Sudan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Burundi and former Yugoslavia who were seeking to reconnect or keep in touch with their families.

As a part of the International Services mission in Northern Nevada, the American Red Cross educated 875 individuals in international services since 2008, including over 300 in 2012 and 25 individuals in International Humanitarian Law; established the Red Cross International Club at the University of Nevada, Reno; since 2008, opened 11 cases to assist individuals and families separated by armed conflict or international disasters to reconnect with loved ones; and collected over $1200 from generous local donors to support our Measles Initiative programs worldwide.

You can celebrate World Refugee Day and help make an impact at home and overseas by:

  • donating money or hosting a fundraiser to support local International Services activities
  • volunteering your time with the Northern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross
  • joining our International Club at the University of Reno as a student
  • taking steps to prepare for future disasters and Be Red Cross Ready
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