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World Pledges Aid to Chile After Quake


The international community is offering support to Chile in the wake of Saturday's devastating earthquake.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he has reached out to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to offer U.S. assistance with the rescue and recovery efforts. He says the U.S. has resources positioned to deploy to Chile should that government ask for help.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States is coordinating closely with senior Chilean officials. Clinton said she would leave as scheduled Sunday on a trip to South America which includes a stop in Chile.

The European Union has pledged $4 million in immediate aid to the South American nation. EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso described the money as a "first step" to "relieve suffering and to meet the immediate needs."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his condolences for the loss of life in the earthquake. He said he is seeking an assessment of the situation from the U.N.'s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, which is based in Chile's capital, Santiago.

The Organization of American States also offered its solidarity to the Chilean people. OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza, who is from Chile, said the country can count on all the cooperation that the OAS can provide.

The British Red Cross released more than $75,000 from its disaster fund to support relief efforts in Chile. Other aid groups, including Oxfam and Save the Children, also are organizing emergency teams and appealing for donations.

The U.S. State Department has provided a phone number for Americans seeking information about family and loved ones in Chile. That number is 1-888-404-4747.


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