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Tsunami Appeal: Oxfam praises generous Kiwis

Oxfam praises generous Kiwis

Oxfam is appealing for $500,000 from the New Zealand public to help prevent the spread of disease and save the lives of those most in need in the wake of the Boxing Day quake.

"The response from the public so far has been phenomenal,” said Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand. “In the first two days of the appeal we have already received $30,000 in donations, which is a fantastic display of Kiwi generosity.”

Coates went on to emphasise the need for speedy action in the region: “With the threat of disease from contaminated water looming over the flood victims, a rapid response is absolutely vital if lives are to be saved in the coming days.”

In the town of Trincamalee in Sri Lanka, where water still lay two metres high yesterday, Oxfam staff were working round the clock ferrying the injured to hospital as well as collecting and identifying the dead.

An Oxfam flight with 27 tonnes of emergency water and sanitation supplies will leave from the UK tonight. The plane will land first in Colombo, Sri Lanka to unload around half the supplies and then fly on to Medan in Indonesia with the remaining cargo.

Coates: ”The scale of this catastrophe requires the biggest international response effort ever seen. The simultaneous disasters across such a wide area make it an unprecedented challenge for disaster response capability. We hope that the international community will get behind the UN’s efforts to coordinate the relief effort, as that will give the best chance of achieving full coverage of all affected areas.”

Oxfam is calling on all donor nations, including the New Zealand Government, to respond generously when the UN announces its appeal, which is expected to happen soon.

To donate to Oxfam New Zealand’s EARTHQUAKE TSUNAMI EMERGENCY FUND call 800 400 666

http://www.oxfam.org.nz

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