Sri Lanka + 6 more

Asia earthquake and tsunamis 31 Mar 2005

Australian NGOs are providing emergency assistance to the many communities in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia that were devastated by the massive earthquake and tsunamis on 26 December 2004.

Australian aid agencies are supporting their local partners in these countries to assist the millions of families that have been left homeless. The most immediate need is for drinking water, food, medical supplies and shelter.

The Australian public can help these aid agencies reach affected people by giving much needed cash donations to purchase and deliver urgently needed supplies. In kind donations of clothing, toys, blankets and food are NOT being collected as it is expensive to transport these goods overseas and they can be purchased more cost effectively either locally or regionally.

Checking the bona fides of the agency you choose

The following ACFID members are collecting cash donations, for relief and recovery, to assist communities affected by the earthquake/tsunamis. All of the agencies listed below are signatories to the ACFID Code of Conduct which requires high standards of public accountability. A full list of Code of Conduct signatories is available elsewhere on this website (click here for the link to the full list). Beware of any agency that is not a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct. If you have any concerns or questions about a particular agency, please contact ACFID at 02 6285 1816.

Total donations received (from appeals listed below)

As at 12:00 Wed 30 Mar*, total donations received totaled $284.4 million.

Contact number
Website link
Total donations *
Adventist Development and Relief Agency 1800 242 372
AngliCORD 1800 249 880
Not available
Archbishop of Sydney's Overseas Relief and Aid Fund 1800 653 903
Not available
Assisi Aid Projects (03) 5439 3161
Not av$185,028ilable
AUSTCARE 1300 666 672
All branches of St. George Bank, BankSA and NAB are accepting cash donations.
Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific 1800 007 308
Not available
Australian Red Cross 1800 811 700
All branches of the Commonwealth Bank are accepting cash donations.
Australian Salesian Mission Overseas Aid Fund (03) 9377 6060
Baptist World Aid Australia 1300 789 991
CARE Australia 1800 020 046
Caritas Australia 1800 024 413
CCF Australia 1800 023 600
(choose option 1)
Not available
Christian Blind Mission International 1800 678 069
Christian World Service, National Council of Churches in Australia 1800 025 101
Not available
Friends of the Earth (Australia) (03) 9419 8700
Not available
Habitat for Humanity, Australia 1800 88 55 99
Not available
International Centre for Eyecare Education 1300 66 42 33
International Women's Development Agency (03) 9650 5574
Not available
Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health (03) 9282 2240
Not available
Marist Mission Centre Australia
Not available
Muslim Aid Australia 1800 100 786
Not available
Opportunity International Australia 1800 812 164
Not available
Oxfam/Community Aid Abroad 1800 034 034
Plan Australia 1800 038 100
Save the Children Australia 1800 760 011
Not available
TEAR Australia 1800 244 986
The Salvation Army 13 32 30
All Woolworths stores are accepting cash donations.
Not available
UNICEF Australia 1300 732 240 or
1300 884 233
All branches of the ANZ bank are accepting cash donations.
Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA 1800 888 674
Not available
World Vision Australia 13 32 40
All branches of the NAB and ANZ banks are accepting cash donations.

Media inquiries

Media inquiries should be directed to the contact people below:

Contact person
Contact number
Adventist Development and Relief Agency Gail Ormsby 0439 871 186
AngliCORD Greg Thompson 0438 826 511 or (03) 9882 6517
Archbishop of Sydney's Overseas Relief and Aid Fund Dearne Cameron 0413 810 811
Assisi Aid Projects Tom Dumaresq (03) 5829 0230
AUSTCARE Elektra Spathopoulos 0422 204 790
Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific David Bathur 0431 462 213
Australian Red Cross Vedran Drakulic 0419 579 209
Australian Salesian Mission Overseas Aid Fund Br Michael Lynch or
Fr Peter Carroll
(03) 9386 6302
(03) 9377 6000
Australian Volunteers International Christine Crosby 0411 605 210 or (03) 9279 1763
Baptist World Aid Australia Les Fussell 0402 112 411
CARE Australia Jessica Walker 0419 567 777
Caritas Australia Georgie McGrillen 0418 619 572
CCF Australia James Cox or
Caroline Jenkins
0407 362 066 or (02) 8281 3104
0402 722 406 or (02) 8281 3106
Christian Blind Mission International Kay Blandthorn 0400 818 498 or (03) 8892 2491
Christian World Service, National Council of Churches in Australia Colleen Hodge or
Charlie Ocampo
0419 685 248 or (02) 9299 2215
0407 152 736
Friends of the Earth (Australia) Cam Walker 0419 338 047or (03) 9419 8700
Habitat for Humanity, Australia Karen Bristow or
Kathie Turton
(02) 9967 3245 or 0414 320 146
International Centre for Eyecare Education Greg Campitelli 0408 600 993
International Women's Development Agency Anna Demant (03) 9650 5574
Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health Dr Mike Toole 0407 804 723or (03) 9282 2240
Muslim Aid Australia Salem Naja 0416 116 786
Opportunity International Australia Philippa Tyndale or
Virginia Baxter
0412 254 365
0423 021 433
Oxfam/Community Aid Abroad Carly Hammond or
Marlene McIntyre
0409 181 454
0407 515 559
Plan Australia Tim Cansfield-Smith 0411 642 194
Save the Children Australia Stephen Lynch 0404 802 908
TEAR Australia Steve Bradbury 0421 213 051
The Salvation Army Major Mark Campbell or
Major Wayne Pittaway
(02) 9264 1711
(03) 9896 6000
UNICEF Australia Kate Mayhew 0411 881 471
Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA Peter Jennings 0409 047 353
World Vision Australia Martin Thomas 0401 712 644

Security and protection of staff

The Australian Foreign Minister, Mr Downer, has approved the following revised travel advice for Aceh, Indonesia. It refers to possible terrorist attacks against foreigners involved in the relief efforts in Aceh.

It refers to plans for a briefing of Australian organisations and individuals involved in the relief effort.

The People in Aid Code

The People in Aid Code is a tool to help agencies offer better development aid and disaster relief to communities in need, and is an important part of their efforts to improve standards, accountability and transparency amid the challenges of disaster, conflict and poverty.

As well as building on previous guidelines, the Code reflects the growing attention of aid groups on issues of health and safety, diversity and equality, and is relevant for agencies engaged in development and advocacy as well as emergency response.

Click here for the People in Aid website and a full version of the code.

Raising funds on behalf of an Australian charity

Community groups and individuals wishing to organise an event or activity to raise funds to contribute to an Australian charity's response to the tsunami (otherwise called third party fundraising) should:

1. Identify an appropriate organisation, to send funds to, that is a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct; and

2. Contact the organisation to get authorisation and information about correct procedures for receipting and banking of funds raised.

Australian NGOs are providing assistance with no strings attached

Signatory agencies to the ACFID Code of Conduct are committed to providing effective humanitarian and development assistance on the basis of need with no strings attached. This means that, as required by the ACFID Code of Conduct; 'Funds and other resources designated for the purpose of aid and development will be used only for those purposes and will not be used to promote a particular religious adherence or to support a political party, candidate or organization affiliated to a political party.'

All NGOs that are signatories to the ACFID Code of Conduct are committed to providing assistance in a transparent and accountable manner, and clearly representing their activities to communities, donors and the Australian public.

The following is a joint statement issued by Muslim and Christian religious leaders at a joint press conference on Monday, 17th January 2005 in Jakarta.

Interfaith Press Statement Concerning Humanitarian Work in Aceh

Concerning the destructive issues that emerge around the tragedy in Aceh, specifically news that was reported in the Washington Post (America) dated 13th January 2004, and the Indonesian edition that was released in the Republika on the 14th of January 2004, we feel the need to clarify the following points to the public:

1. Christian communities in Indonesia, specifically PGI (Indonesian Communion of Churches) and KWI (Interfaiths Commission of Indonesian Bishops), reject all efforts to wrongfully use humanitarian mission as a way of Christianizing people. This is in direct opposition to the spirit and teachings of true Christianity.

2. We appeal to international Christian communities, that if they wish to help children affected by the tsunami in Aceh and North Sumatra, they should work in collaboration with NU (Nahdlatul Ulama) and Muhammadiyah, as well as other Islamic institutions. This is an agreement among religious leaders from PGI, KWI, NU and PP Muhammadiyah, specifically in handling the future of children who have suffered from the tsunami.

3. We welcome the efforts of the Government in preventing the children who have suffered from the tsunami in Aceh from being brought out of Aceh, as well as the efforts of the Government to prevent the steps of WorldHelp. According to recent news in the Washington Post, dated 14th January 2005, WorldHelp has cancelled their earlier plans.

4. We appeal for people to use wisdom in responding to issues that concern humanitarian work, and not be easily caught up by rumours that have no basis.

5. We hope that all polemics that are unproductive to humanitarian work in Aceh and North Sumatra be swiftly ended. Now is the time for us to work together to overcome this national disaster as swiftly as possible.

May God the Creator and Guardian of Life bless our efforts.
Jakarta, 15th January 2005

Jointly signed by:

Pdt. Dr. Andreas A. Yewangoe (Chairperson of Indonesian Communion of Churches)
Rm. Benny Susetyo, Pr. (Executive Secretary, Interfaiths Commission of Indonesian Bishops' Conference)
Prof. Dr. Ahmad Syafi'i Ma'arif (Chairperson of Muhammadiyah)
K.H. Hasyim Muzadi (Chairperson of Nahdlatul Ulama)
Pdt. Dr. Albertus Patty
Pdt. Dr. Martin L. Sinaga
Pdt. Sylvana Ranti-Apituley, M.Th.
Pdt. Dr. Lies Mailoa-Marantika
Pdt. Dr. Robert Borong
Pdt. Ioanes Rakhmat, M.Th.
Pdt. Kuntadi Sumadikarya, M.Th.

Supported by:

1. MADIA (Masyarakat Dialog Antara Agama)
2. ICRP (Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace)
3. Freedom Institute
4. YMCA (Young Men Christian Association) Indonesia
5. P3M (Pusat Pengembangan Pesantren dan Masyarakat)
6. JIL (Jaringan Islam Liberal)
7. Lakpesdam NU (Lembaga Kajian dan Pengembangan
Sumber Manusia Nahdlatul Ulama)
8. ICIP (International Center for Islam and Pluralism)
9. JPS (Jamaah Persaudaraan Sejati)
10.Wahid Institute


Australian Volunteers International (AVI) is coordinating a register of offers of volunteering. As part of this register, AVI will be taking the details of Australians wanting to offer immediate assistance and to volunteer in the short, medium and long term. Over the coming weeks and months, AVI will work with relevant government departments, current overseas partner organisations and relief agencies to match those volunteers to suitable positions in the disaster zones.

Click here to read AVI's media release dated 6 January 2005 Specialist volunteers to meet immediate post Tsunami needs.

AVI phone operators will take the following details for the volunteer register:

- Name
- Contact details (phone, email, postal address)
- Industry expertise and skills
- An indication of their availability for volunteer placements

If you have access to the Internet you can register online at:

Alternatively please call 1800 331 292.

If there are agencies interested in accessing personnel for future projects or programs, the contact details at AVI are as follows:

Sri Lanka:

PALMS Australia-Volunteering for a Global Mission recruits, prepares and places Australians volunteering for a global mission in developing communities. In response to the devastation of communities affected by the 26 December 2004 earthquake and tsunamis, PALMS AUSTRALIA would like to offer assistance in their areas of expertise, namely:

- Cross-cultural preparation for any personnel who are involved in the response. PALMS would be prepared to draw together aspects of their current preparation into a shorter workshop that would provide personnel with the essential pre-departure preparation and support.

- De-briefing services to agencies' returning staff and reflection workshops for returning personnel. PALMS will plan these on the basis of expressed need from organisations.

- Long-term volunteering placements.

Please contact Roger O'Halloran,

Offers of medical supplies

Overseas Pharmaceutical Aid for Life (OPAL) are currently accepting ALL MEDICAL donations at SA and in NSW. If you have people wanting to give this type of aid please refer them to Alternatively they can contact the OPAL office (08) 8359 6055 and find out where to send items to.

(OPAL has established NGO's as well as transportation to deliver these goods and a license to collect medicinal supplies.)

Drug donation guidelines

WHO Guidelines for Drug Donations:

Australian Donation Guidelines:

Important advice from WHO:

- TSUNAMIS - Technical Hazard Sheet:


Corporate offers of assistance

Companies wishing to register their capability and interest in future (paid) reconstruction projects may do so by completing the Indian Ocean Tsunami Enquiry Form on the Austrade website --

Response to offers to adopt children affected by the Asian tsunami

While appreciating the offers to directly assist these children, either through sponsorship, temporary relocation to Australia, more permanently through adoption, Australian Aid Agencies do not believe these are appropriate responses to the crisis at this time.

It is too early to consider establishing child sponsorship programs specifically in response to the needs of affected children and communities. Child sponsorship is a means to provide long term development assistance to children, their families and communities. It requires stable populations and long term relationships with communities who are active participants in the program. This may be appropriate to address the long term rehabilitation / development needs of decimated communities, but not in the immediate emergency response and recovery phase.

Click here to view the full statement from World Vision Australia.

Statement from UNICEF

Click here for UNICEF says "no" to intercountry adoption.

Guiding Principles on Unaccompanied and Separated Children in the Tsunami-affected Countries

These guiding principleas have been drafted by the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) on Unaccompanied and Separated Children. The IAWG consists of ICRC, IRC, Save the Children UK, UNICEF, UNHCR and WVI.

Please note particularly the last section of the document where it deals with the subject of adoption.

Click here for guidelines.

AusAID statement on child protection

Click here to view AusAID's advice on child protection in tsunami-affected countries.

Restoring Family Links Website (non-Australians in affected areas)

The ICRC has launched its 'Restoring Family Links' website which is geared to assist all concerned persons, whether in the affected countries or elsewhere in the world, in obtaining information about their loved ones. The aim of the website is two-fold:

- In disaster areas - concerned persons may register themselves to inform their relatives that they are well and alive

- In disaster areas & elsewhere around the world -- concerned persons may register relatives about whom they are seeking information.

Australian Red Cross Tracing Service

For more information about this service, please visit:

If your relative is an Australian citizen, please contact DFAT Hotline: 1800 002 214 or visit

Note regarding powdered milk

PLEASE let all well meaning donors know that powdered milk in lactose intolerant populations with no access to clean water is a formula for increased child fatalities. The UNICEF Nutrition Section Chief Rainer Gross would like to remind all NGOs that donations of powder milk carry special concerns. Given poor infrastructure and

living conditions in emergencies, and in other settings in need, all necessary measures must be taken to ensure the safe use of any donation. Lack of potable water and lactose-intolerance means that the use of powdered milks can in fact lead to increased risk of diarrhoeal disease and increased risk of fatalities amongst children. Peoples of Asia have high levels of lactose intolerance, i.e. drinking increased quantities of milk can cause diarrhoea.

Please refer to for further details.

This message is from the UNICEF Senior Advisor, Infant and Young Child Feeding and Care.

Contact details are:

Miriam H. Labbok, MD, MPH
UNICEF House, Room 756
3 UN Plaza, East 44th St.
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212 326-7368
Fax: 212 326-7129

Alternatively, the Australian Breastfeeding Association, or your local La Leche League, would be of assistance.

ACFID Media Releases

25 January 2005, "One month on -- update on Australian NGO response to Asia Tsunami"

6 January 2005, "Aid agencies welcome $1 billion aid package"

31 December 2004, "Australia responds generously to Asia earthquake"

27 December 2004, "Australian aid agencies provide emergency assistance in the wake of the Asia earthquake"

Updates from ACFID member agencies

Summary Guide

This summary guide provides details of ACFID member agencies' response to the Asia earthquake and tsunami, and allows viewers to sort responses by country and/or agency. It will be regularly updated.

Download: Download: Excel doc dated Thursday 24 March 2005.

Website links

Please follow the links below to view websites of those member agencies that are listed above as running appeals in response to the Asia earthquake/tsunami, and that have regular updates of their work in the tsunami-affected areas.

Archbishop of Sydney's Overseas Relief and Aid Fund
Assisi Aid Projects
Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific
Australian Red Cross
Baptist World Aid Australia
CARE Australia
Caritas Australia
CCF Australia
Christian World Service, National Council of Churches in Australia
Friends of the Earth (Australia)
Habitat for Humanity, Australia
International Centre for Eyecare Education
International Women's Development Agency
Oxfam/Community Aid Abroad
PLAN Australia (follow the 'Tsunami News' links)
Save the Children Australia
TEAR Australia
The Salvation Army
Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA
World Vision Australia

Links to other agencies

Australian Government -- AusAID

For information about the Australian Government aid commitment to the Indian Ocean Disaster.

29 December -- Joint Statement

by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the executive of ACFID, Australian Red Cross, CARE Australia, Caritas, Oxfam-Community Aid Abroad and World Vision.

Australian Development Gateway (ADG)

The ADG is an online knowledge exchange for people working in aid and development projects. Currently, over 960 quality resources are available on the website as contributed by development practitioners.

Tsunami topic page: Access practical information about emergency relief assistance on the new ADG Tsunami topic page, including the latest AusAID and ACFID updates and links to sit-reps.

You are encouraged to submit your own reports via email to or via the "suggest a resource" links on the ADG website. You can also join the discussions on the ADG aid practitioners discussions forums:

Before you send material please ensure that it is "practical use and relevant content" i.e. no news items, donation pledges, or copyright-protected material -- click on the following link to see the ADG editorial checklist:


Reconstruction, resettlement and housing --

Asbestos: hazards and safe practice for clear-up after tsunami

Asbestos products are still manufactured and used extensively in some Asian countries such as Sri Lanka. There is concern that relief workers involved in reconstruction efforts post-tsunami are being exposed to damaged or abraded asbestos.

This WHO report outlines the health concerns associated with this product and covers the following issues:

- Why is asbestos a problem?

- What is a safe level of exposure?

- What sort of activities will cause the release of asbestos fibres?

- What are the risks in the post-tsunami clear-up?

- Disposal of asbestos-containing materials

Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Disaster Relief

This code seeks to safeguard high standards of behaviour and maintain independence and effectiveness in disaster relief. In the event of armed conflict, its clauses are to be interpreted and applied in conformity with international humanitarian law. It is a voluntary code, enforced by the will of organizations accepting it to maintain the standards it lays down. Sponsored by: Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Relief Services, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Save the Children Alliance, Lutheran World Federation, Oxfam and the World Council of Churches (members of the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response), together with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Click here to view the code of conduct on the ACFID website.


ReliefWeb is a project of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and aims to provide up-to-date information to the humanitarian relief community.

Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP)

Detail on the essential elements of an effective humanitarian accountability framework can be found at:

The Sphere Project

The Sphere Project was launched in 1997 by a group of humanitarian NGOs and the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. Sphere is based on two core beliefs: first, that all possible steps should be taken to alleviate human suffering arising out of calamity and conflict, and second, that those affected by disaster have a right to life with dignity and therefore a right to assistance. Sphere is three things: a handbook, a broad process of collaboration and an expression of commitment to quality and accountability. The project has developed several tools, the key one being the handbook.

Visit the link below for more information.


Information for general public and Australian businesses and local government.

Foodbank Australia

Foodbank Australia is a non-denominational not-for-profit company which seeks and facilitates donations of food and grocery products for distribution to welfare agencies via its State Foodbanks. (Click here for the website.)

If agencies require food products in support of their tsunami relief efforts, please contact Foodbank Australia on (02) 9490 8450.