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More than $7 million raised for Pakistan's quake survivors

Tuesday November 15, 2005

Despite waning media interest in the plight of Pakistan's quake survivors, the Australian community has rallied to help Australian Red Cross raise more than $7 million to assist efforts to ensure hundreds of thousands of people survive harsh winter conditions.

'Imagine living on top of Australia's Snowy Mountains in the middle of winter with no adequate shelter. That's the harsh reality faced by many of Pakistan's quake survivors if the international community does not get sufficient aid such as winterised tents and kerosene stoves to those affected by the disaster,' said Acting CEO of Australian Red Cross, Dale Cleaver.

In Pakistan, mountainous terrain, landslides, as well as bad weather hamper the relief effort. But despite the enormous logistically challenges, aid is getting through.

'Already Red Cross has delivered at least 13,000 tents, 110,300 blankets, as well as 18,500 tarpaulins to over 115,500 people. In addition, Red Cross has treated more than 22,500 patients mainly for fractures and other traumas,' said Dale Cleaver.

Medical aid is emerging as the second greatest need after shelter. To meet this need, Australian Red Cross is sending an additional ten aid workers, all with medical backgrounds, to Pakistan over the next two to three weeks. They will work alongside hundreds of other Red Cross and Red Crescent aid workers from all over the world, as well as Pakistan.

Marg Brewster (NSW), Leanne McKenry (VIC) and Denise Moyle (TAS), all surgical ward nurses, leave for Pakistan today to provide medical aid to survivors of the earthquake who are now under threat from the spread of diseases such as cholera.

In addition, Red Cross and Red Crescent medical teams continue to provide mobile outreach services, travelling by helicopter, foot and sometimes mule into remote areas of the Kagan Valley to treat people injured because of the earthquake.

'The continuing support of the Australian public is precisely what is needed. Red Cross and other organisations are working hard to help people in need, but it is only possible with continued public support. Please support our efforts to assist those affected by making a donation to the Red Cross Pakistan Quake Appeal,' said Mr Cleaver.