Thursday July 20, 2006
Australian Red Cross is today launching an appeal to support thousands of people affected by the conflict in the Middle East.
The CEO of Australian Red Cross, Mr Robert Tickner said money raised by the appeal would go to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which was working with our sister societies in the region to assess needs and provide assistance.
'As we watch the escalating violence, we share the ICRC's concerns over the consequences that military action is still having on the civilian population' Mr Tickner said. 'The first priority must be to help those injured or displaced by the fighting' he said.
The first emergency supplies from the ICRC reached Lebanon on 18 July. The organisation is addressing the most pressing needs in cooperation with the Lebanese Red Cross Society, which with its 2,400 volunteers, 42 ambulance stations and over 50 clinics and other medical facilities all over the country has been active since the first day of the crisis.
But according to the ICRC's Director of Operations Pierre Krähenbñhl, access to people in need of assistance, both the wounded and those forced to flee the fighting, is severely limited by the ongoing hostilities.
Mr Krähenbñhl said damage to the road infrastructure and ongoing military action meant medical evacuations and the safeguard of the medical mission remained deeply problematic.
The ICRC is hoping to raise more than 10 million dollars to meet emergency needs over the coming month.
For more information or to make a secure online donation:
- Visit: www.redcross.org.au
- phone: 1800 811 700 toll free, or
- Send a cheque to: GPO Box 9949 (marked 'Middle East Appeal 2006') in your capital city.
Donations to the Middle East Appeal 2006 will:
NOTE: Australian Red Cross will not deduct more than 10% of any donation for an international appeal to cover appeal costs. Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer-term needs of the people in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will use any excess funds to help people affected by emergencies within the same region of the world.
- Support the International Committee of the Red Cross in the provision of emergency assistance on behalf of the victims of the international armed conflict in the region
- Fund the deployment of specialist aid workers to assist the ICRC response in the region