Monday, 16 June 2008

Red Cross welcomes special cyclone support

Australian Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner today warmly welcomed a special contribution by the Government of South Australia to aid victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar(Burma).

Mr Tickner also acknowledged the generous support of the Australian community while recognising the South Australian government's special donation of $200,000 to aid victims of the disaster cyclone.

'We sincerely appreciate this strong financial contribution from South Australian Premier Mike Rann,' Mr Tickner said.

Mr Tickner said the Government of South Australia showed 'very timely humanitarian spirit' in helping meet the massive needs in the recovery efforts for families and communities affected by the cyclone.

'This special contribution will help extend a hand to people who survived the original cyclone trauma but are now extremely vulnerable. It recognises that, as neighbours, we are able to help in times of dire need.'

Mr Tickner said there was a desperate requirement for basic shelter as well as access to clean water and first aid in the country.

Over the last few days, Red Cross flights have managed to reach the Yangon region carrying over 35 tonnes of shelter materials and supplies.

Red Cross officials estimate that by Friday (16 May) a total of 180 tonnes of Red Cross aid will have arrived in Myanmar.

Mr Tickner praised the work of Myanmar Red Cross aid workers and volunteers currently distributing life-saving relief items to affected families including drinking water, clothing, food and emergency shelter.

The Myanmar Red Cross network covers the country with key branches in the most affected areas with more than 19,000 staff and volunteers able to help in areas including first aid and relief activities.

To donate to the Myanmar Cyclone Nargis Appeal 2008:

- make an online donation
- phone 1800 811 700
- send a cheque or money order to PO Box 2957, Melbourne, 8060
- at any branch of the Commonwealth bank

Donations to the Myanmar Cyclone Nargis Appeal 2008 will:

- support the relief and recovery needs of households and communities affected by Cyclone Nargis, including clean water, emergency shelter and household items
- send specialist aid workers to assist in the Red Cross response
- assist Myanmar Red Cross in preparing and responding to this and future emergencies

Australian Red Cross will deduct no more than 10% of any donation for an international Appeal to cover its appeal costs.

Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer term needs of the people in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct the excess funds to other emergency preparedness and response initiatives in the Asia Pacific region.

Available for interview:
Or for further information:
Lachlan Quick, National media coordinator
m: 0412 912 378

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