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MADRE Launches Disaster Fund that Advances Women's Rights

June 1, 2006–New York–As millions in vulnerable Caribbean nations and Gulf Coast states brace for hurricane season and survivors of last weekend's earthquake in Indonesia begin their arduous recovery, MADRE, an international women's human rights organization, announces the launch of its Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund for women and families. The Fund will further enable MADRE to act immediately and effectively when disasters strike, bringing urgently needed resources directly to women and families most in need.

Since 1983, MADRE has worked in partnership with women's community-based groups worldwide to address the immediate and long-term needs of women and families in crisis. By partnering directly with local women's organizations in relief efforts, MADRE mobilizes resources quickly and efficiently in ways that build the capacity of communities to better respond to future crises.

Recently, MADRE partnered with women's organizations to respond to natural and humanitarian disasters in Darfur, Guatemala, New Orleans, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Vivian Stromberg, MADRE's Executive Director, commented: "With the hurricane season upon us, it's more important than ever to bolster support for local women's groups in affected regions. When resources are placed in the hands of community women, relief has the best chance of reaching those in need. That's because women are primarily responsible for meeting people's basic needs for food, shelter, and health care, whether there's a crisis or not. MADRE created an Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund to protect women's rights in times of crisis, and to ensure that community-based women's groups are integral to designing and carrying out relief efforts."