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Kiwis donate $75,000 to Myanmar

NEWS RELEASE

16 May 2008

Kiwis donate $75,000 to Myanmar

Kiwis all over the country have been making donations to New Zealand Red Cross to assist with the relief effort in Myanmar following Cyclone Nargis.

Since the disaster Kiwis have donated $75,000 to New Zealand Red Cross' Myanmar appeal. Every cent donated to the appeal has today been pledged to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies who are assisting the Myanmar Red Cross with the relief effort.

Every day for the past week Red Cross have been flying planes into Myanmar loaded with relief supplies such as shelter kits, tarpaulins, water containers, cooking equipment and mosquito nets.

Joe Lowry, spokesman for the Federation has just returned from Yangoon and described the situation in Myanmar as desperate.

"Survivors displaced from their homes are sheltering in makeshift accommodation, or badly damaged schools and pagodas, where sanitation is extremely poor, and there is a lack of clean drinking water. The threats to public health are immense," said Mr Lowry. Mr Lowry says Myanmar Red Cross volunteers are doing a phenomenal job and working against the odds to get relief through.

"Volunteers have a tremendous spirit of humanitarianism, and they are our best hope right now. It is their local knowledge and expertise that is proving essential in our relief efforts," said Mr Lowry.

The money donated by the New Zealand public is in addition to the $100,000 New Zealand Red Cross committed to the relief operations last week.

New Zealanders who would like to help with the Red Cross emergency appeal for Myanmar can either:

* Donate online at www.redcross.org.nz

* Make an automatic $10 donation by calling 0900 33 200

* Drop their monetary donations at any New Zealand Red Cross office

* Post donations to their local Red Cross office or to PO Box 12-140, Wellington


ENDS


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