Canadians responding generously to staggering needs of South Asia Earthquake survivors
(Ottawa, October 10, 2005) — Canadians have already donated $118,000 through the Canadian Red Cross to assist survivors of the massive earthquake Saturday that has left more than 20,000 dead and millions homeless in Pakistan and India.
“Canadians have responded generously – and we hope that will continue,” says Pierre Duplessis, Secretary General and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross. “It will be some time before the complete extent of this disaster is known, but this much is already clear – the needs of survivors are staggering. Food, shelter, first aid, basic health care and medical supplies are the immediate priorities.”
Saturday’s earthquake registered 7.6 on the Richter scale and severely crippled the Pakistan-administered Kashmir and the North West Frontier Province along with Indian-administered Kashmir.
In response, Red Cross is mobilizing several emergency teams to Pakistan to support Red Crescent relief operations in the region bordering Pakistan, northern India and Afghanistan. A first coordination team is expected to be in Islamabad today. A second team is on route. These teams include experts in logistics, shelter, disaster relief coordination, telecommunications, health, water and sanitation and information. In addition, several emergency response teams -- including field hospital personnel – will be leaving for Pakistan this week.
In Pakistan, where thousands are reportedly still trapped in the debris of collapsed buildings and homes, Red Cross has mobilized hundreds of volunteers and carried out a needs assessment in Manshera, Balakot and Batagram in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) as well as in Rawalakot and Bagh in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Three truck loads of tents, blankets, food and medicines were distributed today in Manshera and Balakot. Three Red Cross medical teams are on their way to Pakistan-administered Kashmir and eleven truck loads of tents, blankets, food and medicines will be dispatched there within a day or two.
In India, the Indian Red Cross is dispatching 20,000 blankets and 1,400 tents from its headquarters while local Red Cross officials conduct assessments in the affected areas. Indian Red Cross branches in Jammu and Kashmir have distributed 1,000 blankets and 500 kitchen sets; and some 400 Red Cross first aid personnel are engaged in search and rescue as well as in relief operations in Poonch, Rajouri, Baramulla and Uri.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has announced today that they have earmarked $20 million in financial assistance to those affected by the earthquake – some of which will be in support of the Red Cross response.
Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may donate online at http://www.redcross.ca/, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa and MasterCard. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “South Asia Earthquake” and mailed to Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2. For information on how Red Cross manages donations, please visit "How We Care For Your Donations.” Donations of goods are not accepted.
The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 182 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.
For more information contact:
Manager, Media Relations
Canadian Red Cross
Cell: (613) 222-6196
Office: (613) 740.1928