Monday October 10, 2005
As the death toll from Saturday's devastating Asia quake continues to rise, International Red Cross has announced plans to meet the immediate shelter and food needs of 120,000 vulnerable people in the affected areas.
Acting CEO of Australian Red Cross, Dale Cleaver said the main focus is on distributing 30,000 emergency family kits to the most vulnerable in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, North West Frontier Province and Islamabad where large numbers of people had been made homeless through their dwellings being destroyed or severely damaged.
'Red Cross family kits can help save lives. Each kit consists of one tent, four blankets, plastic sheeting, one kitchen set as well as one month's supply of dried food. Affected people require immediate shelter, food, clothing and medicines,' he said.
However, Mr Cleaver warned that the relief effort was being hampered with roads in remote mountainous regions blocked or swept away in landslides.
'Because of the geographic location of the disaster, it will be a challenge to get aid to the hardest hit areas. To direct aid where it is most needed, we will coordinate our relief efforts with other aid agencies as well as the UN. Heavy lifting cargo helicopters will need to be deployed.'
Local Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers, who have been working around the clock to help the victims, are being joined by a seven-member Turkish Red Crescent team that arrived to Islamabad. It includes logisticians, relief coordinators and specialists in psychological support. Meanwhile Australian Red Cross has aid workers on standby for potential deployment to the affected areas.
Back home, the Australian community has again showed their generosity and so far helped raise over $60,000 to assist vulnerable people affected by the earthquake - a very positive response given the appeal has been open for less than a day.
To donate to the Asia Earthquake Appeal:
- Visit www.redcross.org.au to make a secure online donation
- Call 1800 811 700 toll free
- Send a cheque to GPO Box 9949 marked 'Asia quake Appeal' in any capital city