Canadian Red Cross

Canadian Red Cross

May 16, 2008 16:39 ET

Red Cross Continues to Assist Disaster Survivors in Myanmar and China

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 16, 2008) - Canadians continue to support survivors of both Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the recent earthquake in China. The response by Canadians to these two disasters has been generous and swift.

The Government of Canada announced on May 15, 2008 that it will match donations of Canadian individuals to humanitarian organizations assisting with the relief efforts in Myanmar and China. Canadian Red Cross is pleased by this announcement and awaits specific details on the program. As soon as information is available, an update will be posted to www.redcross.ca.

Red Cross Response in Myanmar:

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the Federation) today launched an emergency appeal for approximately $50 million. This appeal replaces the preliminary emergency appeal that was launched on May 6, calling for $6 million.

"Right now, our focus will continue to be on meeting the basic survival needs of survivors - on emergency shelter, distributing relief and working to prevent epidemics," explains Charlie Musoka, emergency operations manager for the Canadian Red Cross. "In the longer-term, we aim to help people to recover, to try and make their communities safer against future disasters, and to strengthen the Myanmar Red Cross and its volunteers."

Emergency relief aid is getting through in increased amounts in Myanmar. A relief pipeline is running effectively given the logistical constraints with 180 tons of Red Cross Red Crescent aid delivered by the end of May 16.

2,000 emergency shelter kits were coordinated by the Canadian Red Cross and sent by the Government on Canada on Wednesday, May 14. The Canadian Red Cross will manage the shipment into the Yangon region and Myanmar Red Cross volunteers will distribute the shelter kits to people in need in the affected areas. These kits will provide shelter for up to 10,000 people.

Total funds received for the Canadian Red Cross Myanmar Cyclone appeal are $1.2 million. This includes more than $1 million donated by generous Canadians and $500,000 from the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Red Cross Response in China:

The Federation yesterday launched an emergency appeal for approximately $19 million to support 100,000 survivors in China for at least the next 12 months.

The focus of the appeal is to support the relief efforts of the Chinese Red Cross already underway. The Red Cross Society of China began providing emergency relief assistance immediately following the quake and hundreds of Red Cross volunteers continue to help with rescue and first aid while distributing relief supplies and providing shelter to thousands of people left homeless.

"Immediate relief is vital," says Yunhong Zhang, Asia program manager for the Canadian Red Cross. "But at the same time we need to begin looking beyond this critical phase and towards helping people get back on their feet and rebuilding their lives."

Total funds received for the Canadian Red Cross China Earthquake appeal are $3.1 million. This includes more than $2 million donated by generous Canadians and $1 million from the Government of Canada through CIDA.

Canadians wishing to make a financial donation to either of these appeals may give online at www.redcross.ca, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked either "Myanmar Cyclone" or "China Earthquake" and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.

Contact Information

  • To arrange an interview:
    Canadian Red Cross Media Line
    613-740-1994