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Update 13 on the humanitarian activities of Red Cross and Red Crescent in response to the Asia quake and tsunamis disaster


Tuesday March 8, 2005

As weeks to turn months, the Red Cross and Red Crescent continue to work with the tsunami-affected communities across twelve countries in Asia and Africa.

According to the authorities, the disaster left more than 286,000 people dead, 7,900 missing and more than 1.6 million displaced in a dozen countries of south Asia and eastern Africa.

The massive relief operation - the largest in living memory - shows no sign of abating. At least 22,000 local Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers continue their humanitarian task of getting aid to the most vulnerable in the worst affected areas, including - Aceh Province, India and north and east of Sri Lanka.

The global Red Cross and Red Crescent network, including 23 aid workers from Australia - 9 of whom have already completed their missions - have joined the humanitarian relief operation to deliver thousands of tonnes of aid such as food and tarpaulins for shelter as well as millions of litres of clean drinking water to thousands of vulnerable people.

In total nearly 500 international Red Cross and Red Crescent aid workers from more than 40 countries as far a field as Britain and Austria, Saudi Arabia and Malta have mobilised to assist in the relief effort. Together they will work for as long as it takes to ensure the people whose lives were shattered can once again live with dignity.

Here in Australia, Red Cross has raised over $102 million, of which $24 million has gone to support the emergency phase of the operation.

Australian Red Cross will maintain a presence for as long as it takes in the affected regions of Indonesia and Sri Lanka and possibly other affected areas.

Key Red Cross & Red Crescent highlights of the tsunamis operation:

  • Nearly 700,000 people have received assistance including food, clean water, medical care, shelter, household and hygiene kits as well as psychological counselling in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, the Maldives and other affected countries

  • A total of 147 relief flights have now arrived in the affected countries and a further 42 Red Cross flights are in the pipeline, making a total of 189 relief flights coordinated through the Red Cross

  • Every day a total of 80,000 people have access to Red Cross clean water in Aceh Province alone

Highlights of selected Red Cross and Red Crescent activities as at 2 March 2005

INDONESIA

  • A total of 140,105 people have received non-food items such as blankets, tarpaulins as well as family and hygiene kits since the beginning of the emergency operation
  • 15 million litres of clean water have been purified and distributed to 40,000 people in Meulaboh by the Red Cross
  • 2,491 family links have been restored by Red Cross since the disaster
    35,600 additional family food parcels are being purchased for distribution in Banda Aceh and Meulaboh
  • 4,219 patients have been treated by Red Cross clinics in Lhok Nga
  • 28,000 people in Calang along the west coast have received non-food items such as blankets, tarpaulins and family kits from Red Cross
  • A total of 49,735 blankets have been distributed to people in the worst affected areas of Aceh Province
  • 7,000 homeless people in Teunom receive clean water from the Red Cross every day
  • A total of 85,650 people have been treated by Red Cross basic health units - improvised hospitals - across the worst affected areas of Aceh Province
  • In Sigli and Samalanga the Red Cross currently distributes clean water to 17,000 people every day
  • The Red Cross has recruited 10 local psychologists to work in 18 camps for homeless families around Lhok Nga
SRI LANKA
  • 203,336 people have received non-food items such as blankets, tarpaulins as well as family and hygiene kits
  • Every day at least 47,810 people have access to Red Cross clean water
  • The Red Cross has deployed an additional mobile water purification line capable of producing up to 75,000 litres of high quality water daily
  • 43,460 people have been assisted with temporary accommodation in eastern Ampara district
  • In Galle, Matara and Hambantota over 21,054 Red Cross tarpaulins and 58 tents have been distributed
  • 11,192 tarpaulins - including 483 tents - have been distributed to families in Pottuvil
  • 173,855 Red Cross bed sheets and blankets have been distributed to people in the east and south of Sri Lanka
  • A total of 7,000 patients have been treated by Red Cross basic health care units
  • 250 Red Cross volunteers are being trained in health education for deployment in welfare centres and transit camps in Kilinochchi and Mullaitvu
  • Red Cross is implementing a school-based psychosocial and health project for children. So far 19 schools have been identified, targeting 1,814 children
INDIA
  • The relief and rescue operation is nearing completion
  • In and around Port Blair - capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the Red Cross is producing 100,000 litres of clean drinking water daily; enough to support 1,300 people

MALDIVES
  • 1,300 new homes will be built by Red Cross
  • 1,430 sheets of Red Cross corrugated iron have been used in the construction of six temporary shelters for some 70 families
  • The Red Cross continues to generate electricity for 16,036 people
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