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The Asian Tsunami was among the World's Worst Disasters (26 December 2004)
Tsunami appeal is the fastest disaster fundraiser in history
The massive tsunami in the Indian Ocean has been described by relief experts as one of the worst natural disasters in recent history. But the appeal has proved to be the fastest fund raiser in history. Thank You!
The British, haunted by images of disaster from the Asian tsunami, have donated up to one million pounds an hour in the country’s fastest ever charity appeal. Similar responses have also come from the citizens of other countries around the world.
The British Government's donation, raised from an initial 15 million to 50 million pounds (1 Jan 2005) has been dwarfed by the 60 million pounds (upgraded to 76 million pounds on 4 Jan 2005 and again to 100 million on 6 Jan) collected from the general public, from phone donations, online donations, street and shop collections.
Even the tabloids have been racing with each other to see who can raise most from their readers. So far (5 Jan 2005) nearly two billion pounds (over 2 billion by the 6 Jan) has been pledged by governments and international agencies around the world, to help ease the suffering in Asia.
As I write this, aid is racing to the worst affected areas, with plane loads of cargo touching down in all airports around the Bay of Bengal, bringing, vehicles, shelter, food, clean water, clothes, and all important medicines and surgical supplies.
A spokesman for the national fundraisers DEC, said: "This is the fastest appeal in the history of the Disasters Emergency Committee and at its height, donations were coming in at just under one million pounds an hour."
Thousands of people are still missing following the Asia earthquake that has seen the death toll rise from a few hundred in the initial news reports of Boxing Day, to over 283,000, and rising, a fortnight later.
Around 5 million are now homeless, destitute, hungry, injured, grieving and in pain. The UN puts the overall number of people in need of food aid at 1.8m and urges more protection for thousands of orphans. The UN also says the number of dead will likely exceed 283,000 and the final figure may never be known, as many bodies have been washed out to sea.
The latest figures (3 Jan) show the number of casualties, but many hundreds of thousands are right now in desperate need.
1. Indonesia: 80,246
2. Sri Lanka: 28,729
3. India (inc Andaman and Nicobar Is): 9,451
4. Thailand: 4,993
5. Somalia: 142
6. Burma: 53
7. Maldives: 74
8. Malaysia: 67
9. Tanzania: 10
10. Seychelles: 1
11. Bangladesh: 2
12. Kenya: 1
How Can I help?
Visit one of these sites, or pick up the phone and pledge whatever you can afford. The following aid organisations have launched urgent appeals for donations to help survivors of Sunday's Indian Ocean earthquake disaster. More than 120,000 people are confirmed killed by the waves and millions more are homeless.
Many governments and organisations - including the US, Canada, Australia, the EU and the UN - are sending aid. The UN has warned that supplies are urgently needed to support the survivors and to try and prevent disease which, it says, could double the death toll.
The Disasters Emergency Committee - www.dec.org.uk - is an umbrella group of UK aid organisations - including Action Aid, British Red Cross and Oxfam - working to provide clean water, food and shelter to thousands. To call from the UK, dial 0870 60 60 900. |
The United Nations World Food Programme - www.wfp.org - is seeking donations to feed victims of the earthquake.
Medecins Sans Frontieres - www.msf.org - is sending aid workers to the region, focusing on medical care for survivors and displaced people after the rescue operations.
The United Nations Children's Fund, Unicef - www.unicef.org.uk - is working to meet the "urgent needs of hundreds of thousands of people" affected by the tsunami disaster.
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR - www.unhcr.ch - which has been helping victims of conflicts in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, is delivering relief supplies to tsunami survivors in both countries.
Save the Children - www.savethechildren.org.uk - has already flown a plane out to Sri Lanka carrying plastic sheeting for temporary shelter, tents to run children's services from and essentials such as clothing and cooking utensils.
Anti-poverty organisation Care International - www.care.org - has already provided food for thousands of affected people in Sri Lanka.
CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development - www.cafod.org.uk - is working with partners across Asia to provide shelter, food aid and medical assistance, and assessing what further relief is needed.
The Red Cross, with its sister charity the Red Crescent, is supplying blankets, cooking utensils and other crucial goods. It has had to set up a new site - www.ifrc.org - because of the unprecedented demand from people wanting to make donations.
The Hindu Forum Disaster Relief Task Force - www.hinduforum.org - comprises 50 organisations and is raising money, clothes and medicines. Donations can be made online or by calling the ISKCON Disaster Appeal on 01923 856848 or Sewa International on 0116 261 0303.
Christian Aid - www.christianaid.org.uk - has already allocated £250,000 from its emergency fund to help the victims of this disaster but says more money is needed.
Christian Charity Tearfund - www.tearfund.org - and its partners in Sri Lanka and India are helping devastated fishing communities and coastal villages get back on their feet.
Islamic Relief - www.islamic-relief.com - has also launched an appeal to provide medical supplies, tents and sanitation facilities for those affected.
The Islamic Aid Emergency Relief Fund - www.islamicaid.org.uk - aims to provide immediate relief and long-term support to people in the affected areas.
Another Islamic charity, Muslim Hands - www.muslimhands.org - is collecting money and sending volunteers to help in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Medair - www.medair.org - is providing emergency support to agencies with a long-term presence in Sri Lanka and its medical experts are assessing the likelihood of malaria and diarrhoea.
Handicap International - www.handicap-international.org.uk - is focusing its efforts on helping displaced people, disabled people and vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, elderly people and children. It is trying to raise £425,000.
World Vision - www.worldvision.org.uk - has also launched an appeal and has already delivered relief goods to thousands.
Concern - www.concern.net - is working with local partners to meet the needs of families in the devastated coastal villages of Tamil Nadu, the worst-affected state in India.
The International Rescue Committee - www.theirc.org - is providing emergency supplies and materials to "people most affected by the crisis".
The Salvation Army - www.salvationarmy.org.uk has local teams working in a number of affected areas and is sending a team from its international headquarters on Wednesday evening.
Muslim Aid - www.muslimaid.org - has already donated £100,000 towards the purchase of food, clothing and medicine in the region but wants to raise more.
Action Aid - www.actionaid.org - is the biggest charity working in south India. It is focusing its relief work on the coast of Tamil Nadu, where 7,000 people died. It is working on providing medical assistance and sanitation for the survivors.
Oxfam - www.oxfam.org - is active in Indonesia, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sri Lanka and India. Their relief operations include distributing food packs and hygiene kits and setting up water and sanitation facilities.
Asia Quake Relief Appeal UK, a UK-based Sri Lankan organisation, is also raising money and can be e-mailed at email@example.com.
World Jewish Aid - www.worldjewishaid.org.uk - is working with local partners in India, Indonesia and other affected areas to help survivors threatened by water contamination and disease.
Hindu NGO Baps Care International - www.bapscare.org - is working in villages around Chennai in Southern India distributing food, drinking water, tarpaulins, utensils, stoves, clothes and blankets.
Goal teams - www.goal.ie - are at present working in Tamil Nadu in Southern India where they are distributing aid to 5,000 families.
Action Against Hunger - www.aahuk.org - has projects in about 40 countries, including Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
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Large teams of doctors, engineers, rescue workers, medical teams and logisticians are on their way to the striken areas right now! Make sure they have the resources they need to get the job done.
You can donate to all the campaigns via their websites.
You can make a difference!
Large or small, an individual contribution to any of these organizations helps fight world hunger, poverty and homelessness. Victims of the tsunami are in critical need of food aid. Please help us reach them, and help them.
Following are some of the agencies in the USA accepting contributions for aid to people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Asia. Click on the links below to donate to an individual organization or go to Network for Good to donate to multiple organizations.
For guidelines on choosing a charity: www.guidestar.org.
ACTION AGAINST HUNGER
247 West 37th Street, Suite 1201
New York, N.Y. 10018
AMERICAN JEWISH WORLD SERVICE
45 West 36th Street, 10th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10018
AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE
South Asia Tsunami Relief
847A Second Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10017
212-687-6200 ext. 851
AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE
AFSC Crisis Fund
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19102
AMERICAN RED CROSS
International Response Fund
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, D.C. 20013
88 Hamilton Avenue
Stamford, CT 06902
151 Ellis Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, Md. 21203-7090
DIRECT RELIEF INTERNATIONAL
27 South La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, Calif. 93117
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS
P.O. Box 1856
Merrifield, Va. 22116-8056
EPISCOPAL RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT
P. O. Box 12043
Newark, NJ 07101
American Council for Voluntary International Action
1717 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 701
Washington, DC 20036
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS/RED CRESCENT
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS
1919 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 300
Santa Monica, Calif. 90404
INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES
Asia Disaster Response
P.O. Box 630225
Baltimore, MD 21263-0225
INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE
P.O. Box 5058
Hagerstown, MD 21741-9874
877-REFUGEE or 733-8433
ISLAMIC RELIEF USA
Southeast Asia Earthquake Emergency
P.O. Box 6098
Burbank, Calif. 91510
LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF
700 Light Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Southeast Asia Earthquake Response
P.O. Box 2669
Portland, Ore. 97208
NETWORK FOR GOOD
8320 Melrose Avenue, Suite 200
Los Angles, Calif. 90069
Donor Services Department
26 West Street
Boston, MA 12111-1206
SAVE THE CHILDREN
Asia Earthquake/Tidal Wave Relief Fund
54 Wilton Road
Westport, Conn. 06880
General Emergency Fund
333 E. 38th Street
New York, NY 10016
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
US Friends of the WFP
PO Box 11856
Washington, D.C. 20008
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
LEST WE FORGET! I would beseech anyone reading this not to forget the other disasters, both human, manmade and natural, that have been going on throughout the world for months, sometimes years, and to spare a throught, and perhaps some funds, so that vital work in these other areas can also carry on unhindered.
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