Myanmar: More Canadian relief being sent by Red Cross

from Canadian Red Cross
Published on 07 Jan 2005
30 Metric Tonne shipment leaves for Myanmar on Saturday

(Ottawa, January 7, 2005) Donations made to the Canadian Red Cross are already working in tsunami-affected countries to bring relief to those who need it. Tomorrow, another flight will leave Canada laden with 30 metric tonnes of Red Cross items destined for Myanmar.

"This is a devastating natural disaster - the needs are staggering in the hardest hit areas. Red Cross workers have been providing substantial assistance since this catastrophe occurred," says Pierre Duplessis, Secretary General of the Canadian Red Cross. "The funds generous Canadians are entrusting to Red Cross will continue to address immediate relief, recovery and rehabilitation in these communities for years to come."

Local and international Red Cross workers have provided assistance to hundreds of thousands of families. Food, clean water, medicine, shelter materials and other urgently needed items have been distributed.

Dr. Duplessis adds that ongoing assessments are still painting a picture of long-term needs, and that recovery programming in the region could extend for five years or more.

The Canadian Red Cross has already shipped about 72 metric tonnes of relief supplies from Canada to Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Maldives. Delegates who have accompanied these shipments confirm that these goods have been distributed to those in need. As well, Canadian funds have been sent to support local and international Red Cross operations, and have procured enough water purification sachets to clean over 15 million litres of water for Sri Lankans.

Currently, 11 trained and experienced Canadian disaster workers are working in the affected areas. Another 30 are on stand-by-nine of whom are expected to be deployed in the next few days to support efforts in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Maldives. An experienced Red Cross disaster volunteer will accompany the Myanmar flight, which leaves Toronto on Saturday evening.

"The Red Cross is the largest humanitarian organization in the world," says Duplessis. "We have the capacity to turn the funds we've raised into significant and ongoing help for the survivors of this catastrophe." These funds are managed by the Red Cross and funds are not transferred to local governments for their operations.

Canadians wishing to make a financial donation may donate online, call 1-800-418-1111 or contact their local Canadian Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa and MasterCard. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked "Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Relief" and mailed to Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.For information on how Red Cross manages donations, please visit "How We Care For Your Donations." Donations of goods are not accepted.

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 181 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.

Media enquiries:

Leslie Vryenhoek
Canadian Red Cross
Cell. (613) 222-6196

In Montreal:

Myrian Marotte
Office:(514) 362-2930, x. 2936
Cell: (514) 913-4478