Canadian Red Cross

Canadian Red Cross

May 14, 2008 17:49 ET

Red Cross Mobilizes Volunteers and Aid to Help China Quake Survivors

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 14, 2008) - As search and rescue teams continue to look for survivors, hundreds of Red Cross volunteers are distributing much-needed aid to communities affected by Monday's deadly earthquake in Sichuan province.

"With more than 80 per cent of the buildings in the town of Beichuan destroyed, there are thousands of people left homeless," says Yunhong Zhang, Asia program manager for the Canadian Red Cross. "The Red Cross has already set up ten relief sites in the neighbouring county of An, with hundreds of tents in each."

Red Cross volunteers from nearby Chengdu are on the ground providing help with rescue and first aid, and distributing relief supplies - tents, quilts, water and food - with more aid coming in from surrounding provinces today. Red Cross relief workers are also providing shelter to thousands of people left homeless.

"Food and drinking water are the main priorities needed now," says Zhang. "Medical staff and supplies are also needed to help the tens of thousands injured."

Two Red Cross emergency medical teams from other provinces have arrived, with three more on their way to the disaster area. Many roads remain blocked, making it difficult to get supplies and rescue teams to the affected area.

At the onset of the disaster, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies immediately allocated approximately $250,000 in emergency funds to support the Red Cross Society of China in delivering rapid assistance to those affected by the earthquake in Sichuan province.

The Canadian Red Cross is accepting donations from the Canadian public to support the relief efforts that are already underway. The response by Canadians has been generous and swift.

If it is determined at a future date that the immediate relief and long-term recovery needs of quake survivors have been met, the Canadian Red Cross will cease collecting donations for this humanitarian response for China and will communicate this information immediately to the public.

Canadians wishing to make a financial donation 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 "China Earthquake" and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.

The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 186 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.

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