August 5, 2004: Headlines: COS - Thailand: NGO's: Alertnet: Direct Relief International Receives Largest Vitamin Donation in Organization’s 56-Year History

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Special Report: Direct Relief International Head Thomas Tighe: August 5, 2004: Headlines: COS - Thailand: NGO's: Alertnet: Direct Relief International Receives Largest Vitamin Donation in Organization’s 56-Year History

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Direct Relief International Receives Largest Vitamin Donation in Organization’s 56-Year History

Direct Relief International Receives Largest Vitamin Donation in Organization’s 56-Year History

Direct Relief International Receives Largest Vitamin Donation in Organization’s 56-Year History

Direct Relief International Receives Largest Vitamin Donation in Organization’s 56-Year History
05 Aug 2004 18:07:00 GMT
Direct Relief International
Direct Relief International (DRI) - USA
44 Million multi-vitamins donated by Global Partners for Development; vitamins destined for health projects in East Africa, Asia, and HIV crisis regions

Direct Relief International today announced that it has received a donation of 44 million multi-vitamins from fellow California non-profit organization, Global Partners for Development, based in Rohnert Park, CA. This is the largest such donation of vitamins in Direct Relief International’s 56-year history.

The donation from Global Partners for Development, which supports sustainable development in East Africa, was received at Pharmavite Co. in Valencia and delivered to Direct Relief International’s Santa Barbara warehouse in four semi-tractor trailers.

“We are delighted by this tremendous donation of vitamins and deeply thankful to Global Partners for arranging it,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief International President and CEO. “Multivitamins are particularly important supplements in resource-poor areas where the common diet does not provide an adequate supply.”

“Global Partners for Development is happy to have the opportunity to make this donation to Direct Relief International, an organization we trust to ensure assistance reaches those who are in the greatest need,” stated Catherine W. Kirby, Managing Director for Global Partners.

The initial shipments of vitamins will be supplied – along with medicines, pharmaceutical products, medical supplies and equipment – to Direct Relief International’s health-partner organization in Haiti, Jamaica and Cambodia. Most of the vitamins will be furnished to Direct Relief International- supported health programs in Africa. The vitamins’ once-a-day formulation will provide over 120,000 persons a full year’s supply of vitamins.

Global Partners, in addition to donating the vitamins, is also providing financial support to defray expenses associated with the international coordination and distribution.

Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are closely associated with many of the most significant and damaging health problems affecting the majority of people living in the developing world. A recent study published in the July 2004 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found that multivitamin supplements delay the progression of HIV disease and provide an effective, low-cost means of delaying the initiation of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected women.

In announcing the donation, Direct Relief also issued an appeal for additional contributions from the thriving vitamin and natural products industry.

“We have a difficult time obtaining vitamin donations, and we hope that this inspires other companies to see how their products can make a real difference in the lives of people who regrettably are not in a position to buy them,” said Tighe. “We would love to have an ongoing partnership with the industry to increase the flow of vitamins to developing countries.”

The following nutritional products are the most urgently needed and go to programs treating malnourishment as part of medical treatment and overall health care:

Adult multivitamins Pediatric multivitamins, chewable and liquid Prenatal formulas Vitamin A Ferrous sulphate B-complex Mineral complexes Folic Acid Protein powders and drinks Iodine

Direct Relief International Founded in 1948 by two immigrant businessmen, Direct Relief International is a non-profit, non-sectarian humanitarian assistance organization based in Santa Barbara, CA. For 55 years, Direct Relief International has provided medical material assistance in the form of pharmaceuticals, supplies, and new and refurbished medical equipment to over 3,000 charitable health facilities world wide and within the US. In 2003, the organization provided more than $93 million [wholesale] value in medicines, supplies and equipment to health projects in 61 countries, enough provisions to keep hundreds of local health professionals and clinics productively engaged and provide full courses of medical treatment for over 10 million people. Direct Relief International was cited by Forbes Magazine in December 2003 as a U.S. charity with 100% efficiency and charitable commitment and by Consumers Digest as one of only five of the leading U.S. charitable organization evaluated to receive 99% or better efficiency ranking in their 2003 survey of major U.S. charities. Worth Magazine named Direct Relief International among “America’s Best 100 Charities” in its December 2001/January 2002 edition, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy continues to rank Direct Relief International as the largest private international relief organization in California. The organization’s website is

Global Partners for Development Since 1989, Global Partners for Development has worked to achieve an end to the persistence of hunger throughout the world, especially as it affects the survival and development of children. As an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization, Global Partners raises funds to provide resources and skills for basic survival, promoting self-sufficiency and education in developing countries. Charity Navigator, America’s premiere independent evaluator of charities, has given Global Partners its 4-star rating for the second consecutive year, according to Charity Navigator, “an exceptional feat, especially given the economic challenges… in the last year.” Global Partners for Development’s website is

[1] Fawzi WW, Msamanga GI, Spiegelman D, et al. A randomized trial of multivitamin supplements and HIV disease progression and mortality. N Engl J Med 2004;351:23-32.

When this story was prepared, this was the front page of PCOL magazine:

This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.

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Story Source: Alertnet

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