Asia Earthquake and Tsunamis Relief

Note: The following appeal is now closed.  You can support our ongoing work by donating to the Canadian Red Cross


The Canadian Red Cross joins all Canadians in offering its condolences to those who lost loved ones in the enormous tragedy of December 26, 2004 - and the subsequent earthquake of March 28, 2005.

At this time, the Canadian Red Cross forecasts that sufficient funds have been raised to address the immediate and long-term needs related to both of these tragedies. Thank you for your generosity.

Tsunami Fact Sheet


Stories from the Field


Delegates' Diaries

Questions and Answers

  • Can I donate household items, clothing or equipment?

Cash donations are gratefully accepted, and are what’s needed most. The Red Cross does not accept in-kind donations of food, clothing and other items.  Cash donations reduce the burden on scarce resources such as transportation, warehouse space and labour. Local purchases of food, clothing and relief items are more culturally appropriate, reduce transportation costs and are the quickest and most effective means of getting aid to those in need. Purchasing locally can also help stimulate the economy in affected areas. Cash transfers to the affected region also provide the optimum flexibility to our Red Cross colleagues so they can meet the most urgent needs. While well intentioned, in-kind donations from individuals are not the best way to help those in need. There are tremendous processing and transportation costs involved in shipping these items to beneficiaries. 


Canadian Red Cross received more than a million separate donations in just a few weeks – a volume we normally process in the course of a year. Despite steps to expedite processing – including the assistance of hundreds of dedicated volunteers and staff, it has take longer than normal to issue tax receipts. We are working as quickly as possible, and are committed to ensuring that all receipts are issued promptly. Your patience is appreciated! 

If you have any questions regarding your tax receipt, please call your local Red Cross Branch.

Are you concerned about a missing relative?

Unfortunately, we are unable to commence assisting inquirers in the active search for missing family members, or send messages to family members from Canada to the region.  We will let you know when the situation changes.  

In the meantime, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has launched a website where concerned persons in the disaster areas may register themselves to inform their relatives that they are safe and well; their families can consult the list of names on the website.  In the disaster areas and elsewhere in the world concerned persons may register relatives about whom they are seeking information.

The information available on the Website may be displayed on lists in public places, or broadcasted by radio in order to be accessible to all persons with no access to the internet.

Canadians in Affected Areas

The RCMP has established a special task force to deal with Canadians missing in the tsunami-affected countries in Asia. Family or friends who wish to report a missing person are asked to contact the task force. Services are available in both English and French.

Other issues relating to Canadians traveling or living in the affected areas should be directed to the Department of Foreign Affairs inquiry.

Non-Canadians in affected areas

The Canadian Red Cross is currently unable to accept tracing requests from people concerned about missing non-Canadian relatives in the affected countries. We are in close contact with the Federation and the International Committee of the Red Cross who are coordinating the massive effort to trace missing persons affected by the disaster. At this stage, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the affected areas do not have the capacity to search for missing persons. Although immediate priority in the disaster areas is to provide life saving disaster relief, we recognise the urgent need for families to know the fate of their missing loved ones, and will make every effort to transmit news from the disaster area as soon as possible.

We will advise the Canadian public as soon as it is possible to accept tracing requests from Canada.

Helping families who have been separated by war or natural disaster to restore contact with each other is a key activity of the ICRC and has been an important part of its response to the tsunami disaster in Asia.