Thu, Dec 30, 2004 - Page 2 News List

NGOs raise funds, send supplies to disaster-hit areas

EMERGENCY RESPONSE NGOs have started to send relief supplies to areas affected by the tsunamis and have opened accounts to accept public donations

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan's NGOs are lending a helping hand by raising funds and paying visits to tsunami-stricken Southern Asian countries.

Organizations such as World Vision Taiwan, the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China, the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families (CCF), Dharma Drum Mountain and the Tzu Chi (慈濟) Buddhist Compassionate Relief Foundation have been taking action to provide aid to needy countries.

"We are now working with the Christian Children's Fund [the CCF's global headquarters] in the US to raise money to send medical or other supplies to the victims," said Su Chiong-hwa (蘇瓊華), an official with the fund.

The condition of many of the children sponsored by Taiwanese individuals remains unclear. Individuals have sponsored 1,592 children in Sri Lanka, 1,637 in India, 1,073 in Thailand, 854 in Indonesia and 1,471 in Kenya.

"The sponsors have been calling anxiously to find out if their sponsored children are all right. Unfortunately, due to communications being cut off in the disaster zones, so far it is very hard to tell," Su said.

The CCF has sent relief supplies such as drinking water, clothes, foods and blankets to needy areas.

The CCF's executive director, Chen Bang-hung (陳邦宏), said Taiwan's 921 Earthquake disaster relief operation was a critical point of reference for the disaster relief for South Asia. He also urged people to make donations.

Donations to the CCF can be made by calling its hotline at (04) 2206-1234, or through a postal service money transfer to account number 00224801. The account's name is 南亞救災專款.

World Vision Taiwan aims to raise NT$4 million for victims in Sri Lanka, the worst-hit country in this calamity.

"It is just the first round of fundraising. Calls have been pouring in through our hotline for our postal service money transfer number," said Celine Sheng (沈玲君), a World Vision Taiwan representative.

The organization has dispatched representatives to Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia to assist in disaster relief.

According to a public statement released yesterday, representatives had also paid a visit and offered NT$5,000 to the family of Liao Fong-shun (廖風順), the tourist who died in the giant waves that hit Patong Beach in Thailand.

The number for World Vision Taiwan's donation hotline is (02) 2585-6300. Its postal money transfer account number is 15752467, and the account title is 台灣世界展望會, note: 飢餓三十國際緊急救援 -- 南亞地震海嘯救援.

The Red Cross Society of the Republic of China has sent a representative to Indonesia but has yet to receive updates due to communication problems.

Donations to the Red Cross can be made to its postal money transfer account number: 14341596. The account title is: 中華民國紅十字總會, note: 印尼震災捐款. Alternatively, donors can call (02) 2362-8232.

Additionally, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山), the Tzu Chi foundation dispatched a disaster evaluation team to Sri Lanka yesterday to assess the situation first-hand.

additional reporting by Ko Shu-ling

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