Thursday January 6, 2005
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation) announced yesterday in Geneva that at least A$720 million is estimated to be needed for longer-term Red Cross Red Crescent programs of assistance to bring back to life the communities affected by the tsunami.
Addressing a specially convened meeting of Geneva Diplomatic Corps, Susan Johnson, the Federation's Director of Operations described the catastrophe as the most devastating natural disaster in modern times and explained that current estimates were that A$120 million would be required for the immediate relief effort, A$160 million for longer term relief, A$160 million for the recovery initiatives and around $A280 million for rehabilitation, disaster preparedness programs and reconstruction.
The Secretary-General of the Federation, Mr. Markku Niskala, is participating in the ASEAN meetings being held in Jakarta today, where he will issue a statement outlining the broad frame of these programming plans.
"The scope of this disaster calls on the world's humanitarian agencies to act quickly, effectively and with a long term perspective. The unique nature of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, with volunteers in local communities in 11 of the 12 affected countries, means that we were there in the first minutes and hours, and will be for months and years to come," Johnson said, stressing that the Federation was coordinating the global response of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. "Today our focus is very much on moving more assistance to people in need, but we are also already planning for the longer term."
As part of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Australian Red Cross is playing a key role in both the short-term and long-term response in the region, with 8 Australian Red Cross delegates already on the ground, assisting the thousands of local Red Cross volunteers. The experience of Australian Red Cross in responding to the Bali bombings and to the bombing in Jakarta will be valuable in ensuring an appropriate and effective response to this disaster, as part of a coordinated global response to the crisis.
To donate to Australian Red Cross Asia Quake and Tsunamis Appeal, log onto www.redcross.org.au, call toll free 1800 811 700 or make a donation over the counter at any branch of theCommonwealth, St George Banks, Australian Credit Union in NT & SA, New England Credit Union or Adelaide Bank.
For more information about the Red Cross response go to our special section on the appeal (see link below).