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National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Red Cross to get federal funding

October 08, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

The American Red Cross said it will receive $100 million in emergency funding from Congress to replenish its disaster relief reserves, which were depleted as the charity plunged into debt to provide shelter, food and other services during a string of hurricanes this summer.

The Red Cross has spent about $260 million this year responding to natural disasters, including the 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 J. McGovern said.

In an unusual move last month, the Red Cross asked Congress for $150 million. The nonprofit organization last turned to the federal government for help in responding to disasters in 2004, when it received $70 million in federal aid after four hurricanes hit Florida.

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