Friday 31st December 2004
World Vision raises more than $9 million
Women mourn the deaths of their relatives killed in India by the horrific tsunami. Image courtesy of AFP
World Vision Australia urges people celebrating the New Year to donate to the Asia Tsunami Disaster with news that the death toll has now exceeded 125,000.
The Australian public has already shown immense generosity but more emergency aid and funding for rehabilitation and reconstruction is needed to help victims of this catastrophe.
Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary of State, has already called for an unprecedented world response to the disaster.
World Vision Australia has raised more than $9 million. More than 140 extra staff and volunteers have been called in to help take telephone pledges and they have been overwhelmed by the generosity of callers.
Bev Nicholson, 68, a grandmother of three from Melbourne, who has spent the past week as a volunteer taking calls, said that she could not believe the kindness shown by the Australian public.
She said: “Some of the people who ring up are quite emotional and when they cry you get a catch in your throat. One man even donated $5,000 and then apologised that he had not given enough. But whatever anyone can give is so appreciated and needed. It all adds up. We have had children donating their pocket money and also quite a few calls from people living in Australia who are from the countries affected and just want to do all they can to help.”
In Indonesia World Vision is providing aid that includes water storage facilities and other items such as clothing. We are also setting up child friendly centres, which will help children recover from trauma.
In Sri Lanka many of those who fled their homes have taken temporary refuge in schools and as well as providing food and clothing World Vision will be supplying large cooking cauldrons and cooking utensils to numerous camps.
In India we have provided 12,000 families with food cooked on site and are continuing with the next stage of relief, which involves providing food rations and non-food items to around 200,000 people. In Thailand we are giving out food and household utensils. We are also running a mobile clinic and long-term aid looking at housing.