Millions more collected forBelgian tsunami appeal

6th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

6 January 2005, BRUSSELS - Belgian aid agencies have collected EUR 14.9 million to assist the multiple victims of the South East Asia Tsunami disaster.

6 January 2005

BRUSSELS - Belgian aid agencies have collected EUR 14.9 million to assist the multiple victims of the South East Asia Tsunami disaster.

The money has been gathered by a consortium of aid agencies known as "Tsunami 12-12", which includes the Belgian branches of well-known organisations such as Unicef, Oxfam, Caritas International and the Red cross.

The new figure announced on Thursday is over double the 6,205,000 Tsunami 12-12 said it had in its coffers at the beginning of the week.

A spokesman said that 97 percent of the sum had come from 219,000 individual donations.

Meanwhile, President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso has pledged to unblock EUR 450 million in EU aid at an emergency meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Around EUR 350 million of this money will be used for long-term reconstruction projects in the afflicted region and the additional EUR 100 million for immediate humanitarian aid.

In addition to contributions from individual EU member states, this brings the total European donation to EUR 1.5 billion.

Barroso also indicated the European Investment Bank would set up a lending facility with "favourable conditions" to the worst hit countries.

"We are mourning the dead. But we would equally like to affirm our firm commitment to helping you. We will do everything in our power to help you overcome this tragedy," he said in Jakarta.

In addition to financial aid, the EU has also pledged to help set up an early warning system to alert people to future tsunami dangers.

The number of missing Belgians in Asia has now decreased from 315 to 260, according to foreign ministry figures.

A total of six Belgians are known to have died in the disaster.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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