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Supporting affected communities in the Asian region requires a long-term commitment

Friday January 14, 2005

Tens of thousands of Australians have supported Australian Red Cross in responding to the Asian disaster through the Asian Quake and Tsunamis Appeal. On behalf of the people affected by the crisis, Australian Red Cross thanks you for your generous support.

Dale Cleaver, Acting Secretary General of Australian Red Cross, says that through the global Red Cross Red Crescent network, already more than 200,000 affected people have received humanitarian assistance.

'Funds raised by the Red Cross worldwide, including Australia, are already paying for medical aid, medicines, fresh water, food, emergency shelter and restoring family links, and are helping over 9,000 Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers deliver this support. These funds will also pay for the long term recovery and rehabilitation of whole communities', says Mr Cleaver.

'Red Cross has deployed a full range of its emergency response capacity, including Basic Health Care Units, Water and Sanitation systems and Logistical and Relief bases, which are helping provide urgently needed assistance. Coordinating all of these activities is vitally important in delivering aid for maximum impact, and Australian Red Cross aid workers are directly involved in this critical function.'

Of the funds raised so far, Australian Red Cross has already provided $17.7 million (approx 25%) to our Red Cross and Red Crescent partners, which is being used to provide emergency relief. Australian Red Cross is also committed to supporting a range of medium and long-term activities which will assist with the recovery and rehabilitation of devastated communities a commitment for many years to come.

Australian Red Cross supports the interim assessments carried out by The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. These indicate that that A$120 million would be required for the immediate Red Cross relief effort, A$160 million for longer term relief, A$160 million for the recovery initiatives and around $A280  million  for  rehabilitation,  disaster  preparedness  programs  and reconstruction.

'From the beginning of this tragedy, Red Cross has ensured that people interested in the progress of the relief effort receive regular and detailed information. While we are grateful for the tremendous support we received from the media in this regard, I also encourage the public to visit our website at There we provide detailed information on all aspects of this appeal, as well as regular updates on the relief activities of the Red Cross, says Mr Cleaver.