Last year saw some of the worst natural disasters in living memory

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SIR, - 2010 saw some of the worst natural disasters in living memory with millions of lives devastated in Haiti, Chile and Pakistan.

Yet thanks to your readers’ generosity the Red Cross is helping to make a difference for thousands of people every day. In the immediate aftermath of the Haiti earthquake last year, the British Red Cross response, supported by millions of pounds from the UK public, was huge.

Hundreds of thousands of people have received emergency Red Cross health care, vaccinations, clean water and basic sanitation. Hundreds of thousands more have received emergency shelter materials and essential relief supplies. And we are continuing to respond to the cholera outbreak by supporting medical facilities, carrying out hygiene education activities and establishing cholera treatment centres.

Across the world, and here in the UK, Red Cross volunteers are also responding to thousands of smaller, unreported disasters. Recent severe weather in the UK has seen our volunteers ferry medical staff to and from hospitals and deliver medicines to people trapped in their homes.

All over the globe volunteers are working in their local communities, providing vital relief and also helping build people’s resilience so they are prepared should disaster strike again.

The process of rebuilding lives after a crisis can take many years. Your readers’ generosity has ensured that the Red Cross can be there for the long term, helping communities wherever they may be.

Thank you.

SIR NICHOLAS YOUNG,

Chief Executive,

The British Red Cross.