Red Cross launches appeal for China earthquake survivors
(May 15, 2008 - Ottawa) As the scale of the earthquake devastation in Sichuan province becomes clearer, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has today launched an emergency appeal for approximately $20 million to support 100,000 survivors in China for at least the next 12 months.
The Canadian Red Cross has made an initial $1 million contribution from public donations to the international appeal. The focus of the appeal is to support the efforts of the Chinese Red Cross in the region.
Red Cross support to those affected by the earthquake in China has been immediate. The Red Cross Society of China began providing emergency relief assistance immediately following the quake and hundreds of Red Cross volunteers continue to help with rescue and first aid while distributing relief supplies and providing shelter to thousands of people left homeless.
“Yesterday the Chinese Red Cross sent five emergency medical teams to provide assistance to thousands of people injured in the earthquake,” says Yunhong Zhang, Asia program manager for the Canadian Red Cross.
Emergency relief will form the focus of the first phase of the proposed operation, helping to purchase, amongst other things, 3,000 tents, 100,000 quilts, 100,000 food parcels and 2,000 boxes of water purification tablets. The funds will also support the deployment of additional Red Cross medical and first aid teams, with the goal being to have 10 such teams operational in the affected region.
The appeal will also support longer term recovery efforts, explains Zhang.
“Immediate relief is vital,” she says. “But at the same time we need to begin looking beyond this critical phase and towards helping people get back on their feet and rebuilding their lives.”
To this end, the second phase of the operation will focus on supporting the reconstruction of at least 1,000 homes.
The Canadian Red Cross is appealing for donations from the Canadian public to support the relief efforts that are already underway. The response by Canadians has been generous and swift.
If it is determined at a future date that the immediate relief and long-term recovery needs of quake survivors have been met, the Canadian Red Cross will cease collecting donations for this humanitarian response for China and will communicate this information to the public.
Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may give online at www.redcross.ca, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “China Earthquake” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.
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 186 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: