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Important Statement From Australian Red Cross

Friday August 5, 2005

Australian Red Cross would like to set the record straight concerning false information published in the Sydney Morning Herald and the West Australian newspapers relating to alleged funding of 'parties for wealthy donors' or 'lavish cocktail parties' with Tsunami funds donated by the Australian public.

The stories are wrong, misleading, damaging and contain many basic errors of fact.

The suggestion that these events were parties (or ever intended to be parties) is a complete fabrication and utter rubbish.

The donor briefings are just one of the many ways Australian Red Cross is communicating the progress we are making in helping to rebuild communities devastated by the Boxing Day Tsunamis. We have sent out emails, written updates and progress reports to governments, donors, Red Cross staff, members and volunteers and provide regular website updates.

These briefings include an update on our projects in Tsunami-devastated areas and a presentation from a local aid worker recently returned from emergency and reconstruction work in the field.

The costs are minimal, and do NOT come out of funds raised in the Tsunami Appeal.