Global action: Hurricane relief, from Pittsburgh to Cuba

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In times of crisis, Global Links, the Garfield-based medical relief organization, understands how to get supplies to where they're most needed. Though it started locally, it has always operated globally.

With a record of service since its founding in 1989, Global Links received a rare federal license in 1994 that allowed it to bypass America's four-decades-old trade embargo against Cuba. Since its inception, the nonprofit group has sent relief to 70 countries.

In the last week, Hurricanes Gustav and Ike destroyed at least 100,000 homes in Cuba and put much of its agricultural capacity under flood waters. Post-Gazette staff writer Anya Sostek reported yesterday that the World Health Organization asked Global Links to be a conduit for emergency medical supplies to the island nation.

Pittsburgh's Global Links has been providing aid to Cuba for 14 years, enough to fill 75 sea containers 40 feet long. It will send at least two more containers to Cuba next week in response to the storms.

Donated supplies usually include syringes, medication and hospital linens. Despite the embargo against Cuba, donations to Global Links' work there is legally tax-deductible.

Pittsburgh should be proud of yet another organization that is doing its best to make a difference in the world. Financial contributions can be made through the organization's Web site at


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