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Red Cross launches China earthquake appeal


Wednesday May 14, 2008

Australian Red Cross has launched the China Sichuan Earthquake Appeal to provide assistance to those in the devastated region. Latest figures released by the local disaster relief headquarters indicate more than 12,000 people are dead and about 20,000 people have been injured.

'Local Red Cross branches went to work immediately after the earthquake hit distributing food, water and emergency shelter, but clearly much, much more will be needed,' says Robert Tickner CEO Australian Red Cross. 'Hundreds more Red Cross volunteers have already been assisting with rescue efforts, first aid and the further distribution of emergency relief supplies.'

'Medical support is an absolute priority at this stage -- earthquakes typically cause significant numbers of trauma and crush injuries, and now exposure is a real concern with massive numbers of the population left without shelter.'

The emergency needs are drinking water, food, water and sanitation facilities, temporary shelters, first aid and other health services.

Many of the roads accessing the worst hit areas are still blocked, according to an International Red Cross spokesperson in Beijing, making access difficult for the five Red Cross emergency medical teams en route to the worst hit areas.

To donate to the China Sichuan Earthquake Appeal 2008:

  • Visit www.redcross.org.au
  • Phone 1800 811 700
  • Send a cheque or money order marked 'China Sichuan Earthquake appeal' to PO Box 2957, Melbourne, 8060

Donations to the China Sichuan Earthquake Appeal 2008 will:

  • Support the relief and recovery needs of individuals and communities affected by the earthquake, including urgent needs of shelter through the provision of tents and quilts, clean water, food parcels, medical supplies and hygiene kits.
  • Send specialist aid workers to assist in the Red Cross response if required
  • Assist Chinese Red Cross in preparing and responding to this and future emergencies

Australian Red Cross will not deduct more than 10% of any donation for an international appeal to cover appeal costs. Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer term needs of the people in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct the excess funds to other Disaster Management initiatives in China.

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