Sat, Jan 08, 2005 - Page 3 News List

GIO calls on public to help victims of Asian tsunami

STAFF WRITER

Government Information Office (GIO) Director Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) yesterday announced a campaign aimed at providing disaster relief to victims of the tsunami disaster in South Asia by calling for households to financially support 10,000 children in the disaster area.

At a press conference, Lin also formally accepted a donation by Wanhai Lines (萬海行運), which responded to the call by donating NT$18 million and financially supporting 500 children orphaned by the disaster, thereby becoming Taiwan's biggest corporate donor.

Together with the GIO, five major dailies and 14 TV stations will organize an event at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in the afternoon on Jan. 15 to further promote the campaign. The event will feature an evening concert which, in an unprecedented move, will be simultaneously broadcast by all local TV stations.

According to an estimate cited by local media, a child in Southeast Asia needs NT$1,000 per month. With the campaign scheduled to continue for three years, each child will require NT$36,000, and 10,000 children will require NT$360 million, which also is the campaign's reported goal.

Half of this sum will reportedly come from the donations currently received by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, making the target sum to actually be collected through the campaign NT$180 million.

The GIO said the non-profit organizations World Vision Taiwan (台灣世界展望會), Tzu Chi Buddhist Compassionate Relief Foundation (慈濟功德及家扶中心) and the Child Welfare League Foundation (兒童福利聯盟文教基金會) will be authorized to go through international NGO's to distribute the financial aid and match the financially supported children with local donors.

The children will then write to the supporting families, who can arrange a meeting with the child through an NGO if they wish to do so.

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