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News >  Nation/World

Red Cross raises $1.17 billion for tsunami relief, shifts sights

Sam Cage Associated Press

GENEVA – The international Red Cross said Wednesday it was winding down its tsunami appeal after raising nearly $1.2 billion in just 30 days, enough to fund the recovery effort for 10 years.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the general public contributed 85 percent of the $1.17 billion donated for tsunami relief.

“Without the amazing support of our donors we would not be in the position to be able to say with confidence that we now have enough funding to plan our response and recovery program for the next 10 years,” said federation Secretary General, Markku Niskala.

IFRC spokesman Roy Probert said that the Red Cross has enough money to continue long-term relief efforts in tsunami countries, and it wants to focus more attention on other disasters.

“We still have other appeals, obviously. Our work continues in other countries. We’re particularly grateful for the generosity of the public,” Probert said.

One month after the devastating Dec. 26 quake and tsunami, the Red Cross said it was bringing essential help to more than 500,000 people.

At least 9,000 volunteers and about 300 international Red Cross staff are delivering food, clean water and shelter materials to affected communities. They are also helping with health care and psychological support for victims of “the worst natural catastrophe in living memory,” the federation said.

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