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Increased Need For Giving Worldwide - Red Cross

20 February 2000

Number of pages including cover sheet: 1



The International Red Cross Movement is expecting that its world-wide work in protecting human life and alleviating suffering is likely to increase in the future.

New Zealand Red Cross Director-General, John Searle, said the forecasts of the Red Cross Movement were for an increasing number of natural disasters and more widespread and complex armed conflict throughout the world in the future.

"We have already seen a large number of natural disasters in recent years, and based on the latest forecasts for climate change and the increasing number of people living in vulnerable areas throughout the world, it is likely the frequency and impact of such disasters will continue to increase.

"In addition, the post-Cold War political landscape has led to changes in the nature of armed conflicts. Conflicts are becoming more widespread and complex, requiring increased intervention from humanitarian agencies. Many are dragging on with no end in sight, putting millions of people through lives of suffering and hardship."

"While these outlooks are gloomy, we believe Kiwis have an opportunity to help shape the future positively through developing the strength of the Red Cross Movement.

"To this end, we are calling on strong support from the people of New Zealand for the New Zealand Red Cross annual appeal this week."

The annual appeal will be held throughout New Zealand from 22-28 February, with collectors going from door to door, calling on the telephone and holding stalls in shopping areas. People can also make an automatic $20 donation by calling 0900-33-100.

"Last year we received almost $956,000 from Kiwis through the annual appeal, and this year we are hoping to break the $1million mark.

"In the long history of the Red Cross movement, there has probably never been greater incentives to support humanitarian work world-wide."

Mr Searle said the funds raised through the annual appeal would be used to fund both international relief programmes and New Zealand Red Cross work nationally, including disaster preparedness and effective disaster response management.

For more information, please contact the New Zealand Red Cross Director-General, John Searle, at 04-4723750, or 021-632-069; or International Programmes Manager, Greg Clewley at 04-472-3750 or 025-230-1984.

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