Message by President Vicente Fox calling for Mexicans to show solidarity with those affected by the natural disasters in Asia and Africa

from Government of Mexico
Published on 06 Jan 2005
On December the 26th the world witnessed one of the greatest natural disasters in recent history. We mourn together with the families of those who died and send our condolences and thoughts to the nations affected by this enormous tragedy.
The solidarity for which the people of Mexico are known has shown itself, once more, in the aid sent to the inhabitants of the countries of Asia and Africa that were affected from the first moments after news of the tragic event broke.

I express my acknowledgement and thanks to the men and women of Mexico who have already extended a generous helping hand to these nations.

I would like to inform you that on behalf of Mexico, my government made an initial financial contribution to the multilateral system to contribute to the immediate needs of those peoples.

We will be donating an extra one million dollars for whatever needs arise.

We have worked on an aid plan which took into account not only immediate financial needs but also the concrete support requested by the nations affected by the tragedy.

We defined a support strategy aimed, firstly, at the urgent need to save lives and care for survivors.

We also prepared to actively cooperate in reconstruction efforts. As a result, a mission of experts from the Department of the Navy, the Department of Health, and the Department of Government, all highly specialized in disaster relief, is already in the worst affected area.

To meet initial needs, we are sending more than 15,000 sachets of oral rehydration salts; 300,000 bottles of disinfectants for water that will meet the needs of 700,000 people for 120 days; ten tons of larvicides; one ton of insecticides, in addition to antibiotics and drugs to care for more than 20,000 patients.

We are also sending helicopters, hospital ships and other vessels, and epidemiologists and other specialists in disease control.

In light of the situation on the ground Mexico is also sending water purification and electricity generation equipment, foodstuffs, and many other resources necessary to face humanitarian emergency situations like this.

Collection centers have already been set up in Mexico to bring together the generous contributions made by Mexicans, who have also shown their support through donations to the bank accounts opened by some embassies and foreign non-governmental organizations.

Today the scale of the tragedy means we must multiply our generosity. Unfortunately, although the worst is over the tragedy has not yet been overcome; these sister nations still have many needs.

Just as we have had the opportunity to thank the international community for its assistance when we have needed it, today we must strengthen our support for those hit by disasters.

I am sure that Mexico, its corporations, its foundations, and every one of its citizens will, as always, rise to the occasion.

Therefore, I call on Mexico's society to show its full support. We must continue to help our fellow men and women, we must continue to strengthen our support for those who suffered this terrible disaster and who are still facing its enormous consequences.

Let us keep them very close to our hearts, not only those Mexicans who unfortunately lost their lives in this tragedy, but also every one of the human beings who died there.

Let us honor their memory by remaining close to the countries that are undergoing this difficult moment, and let us support them, let us show with actions that we are a nation certain that international cooperation is the only way nations can overcome the challenges that together we face.