United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie and Jolie-Pitt Foundation Co-Chair Brad Pitt today announced a contribution to the Hungarian Red Cross to assist victims of the chemical residue spill outside the Hungarian town of Ajka.
“We highly appreciate Ms. Jolie and Mr. Pitt’s expression of solidarity with those affected by the red sludge disaster,” said Georg Habsburg, President of the Hungarian Red Cross. “The donation from the Jolie-Pitt Foundation will support the organization’s efforts to respond to the needs of the population displaced by the October 4th spill.”
“The Hungarian Red Cross has worked tirelessly to stabilize the situation for people who have been displaced and injured by the ecological catastrophe in western Hungary,” says Angelina Jolie. “While those affected by the toxic sludge contemplate how they are going to rebuild their homes and communities, it is important to help the first-responder efforts of organizations like the Hungarian Red Cross and their local teams of committed staff and volunteers that serve the most basic needs,” added Brad Pitt.
Just hours after the accident, Hungarian Red Cross staff and volunteers quickly set to work, managing evacuation logistics, erecting searchlights and going house to house searching for survivors and those in need of rescue. The Hungarian Red Cross Disaster Management Team is overseeing the response to the devastating impact of the disaster on local inhabitants, their properties, the environment and agriculture. Working together with local government, the Hungarian Red Cross is managing shelters and providing food, water, first aid and protective masks, glasses and gloves to the approximately 7,000 affected people.
Since October 5th, more than one million people have contributed to the Hungarian Red Cross relief program through hotline and SMS text donations. With the emergency phase ending, the Hungarian Red Cross plans to turn to the recovery stage. Hungarian Red Cross staff and volunteers, who have been on duty since the early moments of the accident, are carrying out continuous assessments and needs monitoring to ensure the most effective use of resources and contributions.