Boeing, Air China Help Project Hope, Red Cross Aid Flood Victims

Project HOPE, in cooperation with The Boeing Company, Air China and the Red Cross Society of China, airlifted urgently needed medicine and supplies to flood victims in China Sept. 28. The Air China 747 Combi carried a cargo worth $1.3 million donated by 14 international pharmaceutical corporations. Project HOPE plans five additional air and sea shipments over the next six months, bringing the total value of this relief program to $5 million.

Additionally, Boeing contributed $100,000 last week for the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Red Cross Society of China to use for their respective programs for flood victims.

More than 250 million people - a fifth of China's population - have been affected by the worst flooding in decades. Flood-related deaths are in the thousands and millions have been left homeless. Property loss is estimated at $25 billion -$30 billion.

"With our 15-year record of helping the Chinese improve health services, and in view of our success in managing a major earthquake relief effort there in 1996, we anticipate a very effective relief effort for the flood victims," said William Walsh, President and CEO of Project HOPE. "We're very eager to provide this critically needed assistance so we can ease as much suffering as possible."

The Boeing Company is a supporter and benefactor of Project HOPE, a Virginia-based, non-profit organization dedicated to international health education. "We are honored to assist the people of China during this difficult time," said Ray Bracy, president - Boeing China. "This is an opportunity for Boeing to act on our long-term commitment to China by helping bring medical assistance to those affected by this disaster."

Air China, the largest air transport carrier in China, shipped the donated medicine and supplies from Seattle to Beijing and will deliver the cargo to hardest-hit areas of Hunan, Hubei, Anhui and Jiangxi. The Red Cross Society of China, founded in 1904, and civil defense authorities will handle ground transport . Project HOPE staff will accompany the shipments and oversee distribution to temporary field hospitals and aid stations, and to medical facilities designated as referral sites for the flood victims.

Air China operates passenger and cargo services, as well as other special and chartered flights. It flies 24 "7-series" Boeing jetliners.