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Australian Red Cross to wind down its Asia Quake and Tsunamis Appeal


Wednesday February 2, 2005

Thanks to the unprecedented generosity of the Australian community, Australian Red Cross will wind down its Asia Quake and Tsunamis Appeal.

The Acting Secretary General of Australian Red Cross, Dale Cleaver, said the organisation would fulfil its commitments to current and scheduled fundraising activities.

'The generosity of Australians, Australian businesses and Australian governments from local councils to the Commonwealth has been fantastic,' said Mr Cleaver.

'For all of us in Red Cross it is indeed humbling to receive so much on behalf of so many who need our help and care - not just now but for years to come.'

Australian Red Cross anticipates that, taking into account funds to be received from projected activities, it will have around $100 million. This is estimated to be enough to meet immediate emergency needs and medium and long-term programs of recovery, rehabilitation and disaster preparedness in the tsunami affected region.

'We ask individuals and businesses to continue to meet pledges by completing planned fundraising events, corporate matching gifts and agreed employee donation programs.'

To date, Australian Red Cross has provided $23.5 million for emergency response, such as safe drinking water, shelter, blankets and hygiene kits, psychological and medical help.

'We are extremely grateful to everyone who has helped and is helping,' said Mr Cleaver.

'It's because of the generosity of so many Australians that Red Cross was able to immediately deploy specialist aid workers to affected areas, provide immediate aid, manage the logistics of relief distributions and send in assessment teams to help determine affected people's long-term needs.'

'We will share details of our medium and long-term programs with the public once on-the-ground assessments are completed. We are looking at a range of projects to help rebuild and re-establish self-reliant livelihoods in communities through programs such as micro-credit and community banking. The remaining funds will be spent on these and other activities.'

Mr Cleaver said Red Cross would continue to rely on public support and commitment.

'We'll continue to turn to you for help - financial and volunteering - for all of our Red Cross services at home and abroad,' said Mr Cleaver.

Australian Red Cross is part of the world's largest humanitarian network, with over 100 million members and volunteers spanning 181 countries. It also delivers over 60 community services to vulnerable people in Australia.

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