Thursday April 20, 2006
Australian Red Cross has launched the 'Avian Flu appeal' in support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation) global appeal for approximately $18.4 million. Funds raised through this appeal will be used to assist countries in their preparedness for the potential worldwide spread of avian influenza and the potential risk of this leading to a pandemic of human influenza.
Red Cross' unique role as auxiliary to governments makes the organisation well placed to assist with necessary education and hygiene programs, with its international network of 97 million volunteers spanning 183 countries able to be mobilised to share awareness raising materials and hygiene advice.
In Australia, Red Cross continues to work closely with State and Federal authorities to support preparedness planning, and to identify appropriate response for Australian Red Cross should the need arise.
Red Cross has experience in responding to global health risks, from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003 to ongoing health crises like Malaria, TB, HIV/ AIDS and Measles. This appeal will provide Red Cross with the means to be at the forefront of the response to avian flu both globally and here in Australia.
To date, the International Federation and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are preparing for or responding to avian flu in Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Timor Leste, China, Ukraine, Iraq, Niger and North Korea.
To donate to the 'Avian Flu appeal':
- visit www.redcross.org.au to make a secure online donation
- call 1800 811 700 toll free
- send a cheque to GPO Box 2957 Melbourne Vic 8060 marked 'Avian Flu appeal'
The funds raised through this appeal will be used for the following activities:
- to support disaster preparedness, response and recovery activities of the International Federation and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
- to fund any deployment of specialist aid workers to countries to assist in the International Red Cross response
- to support any Australian Red Cross programs of assistance in affected countries
NOTE: Australian Red Cross will not deduct more than 10% of any donation for an international appeal to cover appeal costs. In the unlikely event of excess funds being raised, unused funds will be used for future and emerging emergencies.