Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) presents 2 Bristol-Myers Squibb ‘medical mission boxes’ to Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, Sarvodaya Executive Director. Each mission box contains approximately $20,000 worth of medicines and medical supplies (wholesale value) and together can be used to treat more than 500 patients. These efforts were coordinated by Direct Relief International

“Direct Relief’s role and support will continue throughout this acute phase and subsequent stages of reconstruction and development,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief International President and CEO. “Our aim in this emergency, as in our day-to-day efforts throughout the world, is to ensure not only that patients receive needed care, but that the local health systems are strengthened and the local health professionals are better equipped to serve their fellow citizens.” Tighe continued, “Neither Direct Relief nor any US or International aid organization has more of a stage in the success of this effort than the residents of these effected areas.”


Direct Relief International Introduces Congressional Delegation Members to Sri Lanka Local Medical Partners

Colombo, Sri Lanka – January 10, 2005: Direct Relief International Staff will introduce New Jersey Senator Jon S. Corzine (D-NJ) who is travelling as part of a US Congressional delegation (CODEL), to excecutive and medical staff of Sri Lanka local non-profit Sarvoday. The CODEL is led by Representative Jim Leach (R-IA), House Foreign Relations Committee Asian subcommittee chair.

California-based Direct Relief International has provided emergency shipments of medicines, medical supplies, and equipment to Sarvodaya to treat tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka. Senator Corzine will present medical supplies to Sarvodaya which were hand carried by Direct Relief International to Sri Lanka this week. The meeting will take place Tuesday, January 11 at 6:30 PM local Sri Lankan time at the Colombo Plaza Hotel.

Direct Relief International Vice President of Programs Chris G. Brady and Asia & Middle East Program Officer Kelly Darneil are in Sri Lanka to oversee the distribution of more than 7 tons of medical materials provided by Direct Relief International. Direct Relief International continues to provide emergency medical relief to those affected by the tsunami through local partners in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India and is preparing to respond in the other affected countries as specific needs are identified by local partners.

New Jersey based pharmaceutical, medical supply and equipment companies who have responded to the tsunami crisis with major in-kind product donations to Direct Relief International include: BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Bristo-Myers Squibb (HQ in New York and extensive New Jersey presence), Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Company, Schering-Plough Corporation, Tyco/Kendall Healthcare, and Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. These companies are also long-time corporate partners of Direct Relief International, and have provided medicines and supplies for Direct Relief’s disaster relief efforts and ongoing programs that support local health programs around the world.

Senator Corzine will present 2 Bristol-Myers Squibb ‘medical mission boxes’ to Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, Sarvodaya Executive Director. Each mission box contains approximately $20,000 worth of medicines and medical supplies (wholesale value) and together can be used to treat more than 500 patients.

The CODEL on which Senator Corzine is travelling this week is visitng tsunami-affected areas including Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, and India. Delegation members from New Jersey include Representative Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) and Representative Frank Pallon, Jr. (D-NJ). “Direct Relief’s role and support will continue throughout this acute phase and subsequent stages of reconstruction and development,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief International President and CEO. “Our aim in this emergency, as in our day-to-day efforts throughout the world, is to ensure not only that patients receive needed care, but that the local health systems are strengthened and the local health professionals are better equipped to serve their fellow citizens.” Tighe continued, “Neither Direct Relief nor any US or International aid organization has more of a stage in the success of this effort than the residents of these effected areas.”

Brady and Darnell will travel in Sri Lanka and other affected countries through January 15th.

Direct Relief International

Founded in 1948, Direct Relief International is a non-profit, non-sectarian humanitarian assistance organization based in Santa Barbara, California. For 56 years, Direct Relief has provided medical material assistance in the form of pharmaceuticals, supplies and medical equipment to over 3,000 charitable health facilities worldwide and within the United States. The organizations website is directrelief.org.

Thanks to Direct Relief