06 January 2005

South Africa hopes to raise R10m for tsunami appeal

The South African public will make a donation of R2,5-million towards the Tsunami Asia Appeal on Wednesday.

The amount to be transferred by the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS) will go towards a global campaign calling for R350-million.

Donations poured in from everywhere, from small companies to Cape Town Hotels, SARCS said in a statement.

There had also been individual donations of between R20 and R20 000.

The amount included donations from the Pick 'n Pay/Netcare appeal.

Said Ann Bown from SARCS External Relations: "Taking into account the holiday season and the limited amount of working days since the appeal has been made, the response from the South African public has been phenomenal."

The SARCS hoped to reach its target of R10-million by Friday.

On Tuesday the South African government requested that all funds be channelled through to the South African Red Cross fund for expedience.

"Access to devastated areas is limited to helicopters. The roads are badly damaged and the only airport is congested with planes loaded with relief items. This is the reason for only requesting monetary support at this stage," said Leslie Mondo, secretary general of SARCS.

Relief teams from the Red Cross Red Crescent consisting of volunteers from all over the world arrived in Aceh on Tuesday to distribute basic medical provisions to the injured.

This is one of the areas that was hard hit by the tsunami, leaving communities devastated and vulnerable.

On top of the bandages, dressing materials and painkillers that have been distributed, equipment will be arriving which will allow the team to provide immediate basic health care for up to 30 000 people and provide clean water for up to 40 000 people.


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