S'pore Red Cross delivers S$28m worth of quake relief to Japan

Minister of State Masagos Zulkifli (centre) at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new community hall to be built at Rikuzentakata city, Iwate Prefecture, funded by Singapore donations.

The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) has delivered a total of $28 million worth of relief and rebuilding projects from donations raised through its public appeal for the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

This accounts for 80 per cent of the $35.7 million raised over the past year, which includes the $500,000 from the Singapore government.

The SRC has also embarked on the largest rebuilding project in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate. A new $11 million (700 million yen) community hall will replace the old one, marking a new phase in the redevelopment and rejuvenation of the city.

The new building will be completed by end 2013 and houses meeting rooms and exhibition spaces.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs, Mr Masagos Zulkifli was present at the groundbreaking ceremony held on Saturday.

In the next two days, SRC representatives will meet with Japanese officials to finalise the details of two additional projects - a community centre in Soma City, Fukushima, and a nursery in Shichigahama Town, Miyagi.

All donations raised via the Japan Disaster 2011 appeal will be discharged once these projects are completed.

The SRC was appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the lead agency to coordinate Singapore's relief efforts to Japan.

Chairman of SRC Tee Tua Ba said: "We have chosen infrastructure projects with lasting impact – a nursery for the young, a care centre for the elderly, community halls which double up as evacuation centres and all these reflect our people's concern for the survivors.

"We remain steadfast to our commitment to improve the lives of those affected, and will press on in the delivery of these projects," said Mr Tee.

klim@sph.com.sg

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