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New Zealand Red Cross launches Annual Appeal

22 February 2005

New Zealand Red Cross launches Annual Appeal

On the heels of its biggest-ever emergency appeal, New Zealand Red Cross begins its Annual Appeal today.

The New Zealand Red Cross South Asia Tsunami Appeal has topped $10 million in public donations - three times the previous emergency appeal record of $3.2 million for the Rwanda crisis (topped up to $4.2 million by the Government). In contrast, last year's annual appeal raised $900,000.

New Zealand Red Cross Acting Director General Terry Butt says New Zealanders have been incredibly generous during the South Asia Tsunami Appeal and he hopes they will continue to support New Zealand Red Cross in its ongoing work.

"The tsunami was a once in a life-time event but New Zealand Red Cross must always be there and needs ongoing support from New Zealanders," Mr Butt says. "We can be ready to respond to disasters such as the tsunami because we are always ready with tried and tested structures and expertise in place - such as our volunteer network, trained delegates and an established call centre."

"It is critical that we have a well-functioning national society ready to respond when disaster strikes - whether across the street or across the world," Mr Butt says.

*Appeal Question and Answer Sheet.

New Zealand Red Cross Annual Appeal Questions and Answers

Is money raised from the Annual Appeal spent in New Zealand or overseas? The annual appeal supports New Zealand Red Cross work both here and abroad.

What is money donated to the annual appeal used for? The Annual Appeal supports our international programmes and boosts our disaster relief funds; * supports development of our staff and infrastructure so New Zealand Red Cross can respond quickly and efficiently when there is an emergency; * supports other Red Cross national societies to respond to emergencies; * supports the administration of core services delivered at the community level by our branches, such as meals on wheels and hospital transport.

Why donate to the annual appeal? The Annual Appeal is vitally important to keep New Zealand Red Cross going so that if disaster strikes in New Zealand, the infrastructure is there to provide relief.

Why is there and Annual Appeal so soon after the South Asia tsunami appeal? The Annual Appeal is completely separate from the South Asia Tsunami Appeal. All money raised for the tsunami appeal will go to tsunami relief. New Zealand Red Cross needs its own appeal in order to maintain a presence at all times so that we can respond quickly and effectively in times of war and disaster, as we did following the tsunami.

Does any of it go to the tsunami appeal or other emergencies? Money raised for the Annual Appeal will not go directly to any emergency appeal however it helps New Zealand be ready when disaster strikes and contributes to our disaster relief funds so that we can provide immediate financial assistance in emergencies.

How can donations be made? Donate online at www.redcross.org.nz or dial 0900 733 27 to automatically donate $20 (via your next telephone bill).

ENDS

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