Australian Red Cross Director International Programs Michael Annear said funds will support people most at risk, as a priority.
“The pictures and news we are seeing out of India and Papua New Guinea are simply horrifying. We are also concerned about increasing cases in Pakistan, Nepal, Philippines and new cases in Fiji. Our hearts go out to the millions of people affected and we stand in solidarity as we step up Australian assistance,”
Mr Annear said.
“Australian Red Cross has been supporting Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the region since the pandemic began. This appeal allows people in Australia to do something to help,” he said.
“The speed that COVID-19 is currently spreading in India and other countries in the region is a tragic reminder that we cannot afford to leave anyone behind. It is critical that everyone, especially people who are poorer and more isolated, have access to vaccines, masks, clean water and hygiene supplies so they can take action to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy and safe,” he said.
“Funds raised will go to ongoing support to communities facing longer-term impacts. The money will support our local partners across the region and beyond to scale up emergency activities in response to COVID-19 surges. It will also sustain essential services (health, water, sanitation, hygiene services) to people, and continue our vital services for people in high-risk groups in Australia.
“More aid is desperately needed as the current COVID-19 wave has brought healthcare systems to their knees. Australian Red Cross welcomes the support provided to countries in our region from the international community, including the Australian Government.
“This solidarity underlines our view that we will not be safe until we are all safe.”
To donate visit www.redcross.org.au
For media queries or interview requests, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800 733 443