Saturday April 8, 2006
Six months after the Pakistan earthquake Red Cross has relaunched its 'Asia Quake' appeal, calling on Australians to support long term recovery efforts in the areas worst hit by the October 8 disaster.
'Australians have already responded generously to the Red Cross 'Asia quake' appeal,' said Robert Tickner, CEO of Australian Red Cross. 'Over the past six months we have raised more than $8.3 million, making it our third most successful international appeal ever.'
'Because of this support we were able to get urgent aid to hundreds of thousands of quake survivors in incredibly remote regions before the start of winter. But the job is far from finished, and Red Cross Red Crescent has made a long-term commitment to help the survivors of the quake on the long road to recovery,' Mr Tickner said.
'I urge all Australians to dig deep once again and to make a donation.'
Now that the northern winter has ended, the focus of the massive international humanitarian operation has shifted from emergency relief to recovery. The International Red Cross has revised its initial emergency appeal upwards from $160 million to approximately $250 million to fund the recovery phrase.
The Red Cross Red Crescent recovery plan, which covers activities between March 2006 and December 2008, aims to strengthen primary health care services, increase water and sanitation facilities, improve shelter, rebuild community buildings such as clinics, hospitals and schools, and boost the capacity of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society to lead the recovery efforts.
'This is not simply a process of enabling people to resume their normal lives,' said Mr Tickner. 'The area affected by the earthquake is very vulnerable to natural disasters, so the recovery process also provides an opportunity to make communities stronger, more resilient and better prepared for the next time disaster strikes,' he said.
During the initial emergency phase of the operation, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement provided assistance to over 960,000 people in North West Frontier Province and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. This included 18,000 tonnes of aid, such as 57,000 winterised tents. In addition, approximately 227,000 patients received medical assistance at Red Cross Red Crescent emergency response units, field hospitals and mobile health facilities.
Australian Red Cross has so far deployed 22 aid workers to assist in the emergency phase of the response, some of whom have now returned from mission, whilst others are still in the field.
To donate to the Asia Earthquake Appeal:
- Visit www.redcross.org.au to make a secure online donation
- Call 1800 811 700 toll free or send a cheque to GPO Box 9949 marked 'Asia Earthquake Appeal' in your capital city
Funds raised through the Australian Red Cross Asia Earthquake Appeal will be used for the following activities:
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.
- to support the relief and rehabilitation activities of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Partners in the affected countries, through the revised appeal
- to fund any deployment of specialist aid workers to the countries to assist in the International Red Cross response
- to support any Australian Red Cross programs of assistance in the affected countries