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Australian Red Cross sending aid to Solomon Islands tonight

Wednesday April 4, 2007

Australian Red Cross is sending medical equipment and expert aid workers to assist with the emergency response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the Solomon Islands earlier this week.

Marg Brewster, a vastly experienced emergency response health worker and Susie Chippendale, an information delegate with recent experience in the Solomon Islands are being sent overnight to assist the Solomon Islands Red Cross in responding to the emergency.

'Australian Red Cross has a longstanding relationship with the local Red Cross Society and our aid workers will provide first-rate assistance during the early phase of a very difficult relief operation', said Dale Cleaver, acting CEO Australian Red Cross.

Red Cross is also sending 300 first aid kits from Queensland and has already distributed essential relief items to the affected population including tarpaulins and bed sheets, hurricane lamps, water containers and cooking equipment. More relief goods are on the way from the capital, Honiara.

AusAID has given Australian Red Cross $200,000 which will be used to provide additional and much needed assistance.

'This is a significant disaster for the Solomon Islands and we are still awaiting the completed assessment due to the geographic isolation of the affected area' said Mr Cleaver. 'It's vital that these assessments are performed quickly but also thoroughly to avoid gaps or duplications. In this way we make certain that families affected by this disaster receive what they need the most.'

Red Cross has a Disaster Preparedness and Response appeal to help vulnerable communities prepare for exactly these kinds of disasters. Nobody can predict the exact location of the next drought, earthquake or bushfire but by supporting our Disaster Preparedness & Response Appeal, you can help us to be ready in advance.

To donate to the Disaster Preparedness and response Appeal:

  • Visit and make a secure online donation
  • Call 1800 811 700
  • Send a cheque or money order marked 'Disaster preparedness and response appeal' to GPO Box 2957 Melbourne VIC 8060