Hong Kong Red Cross rallies support for typhoon relief

Hong Kong Red Cross rallies support for typhoon relief

HONG KONG - Despite the strained relations between Hong Kong and the Philippines, the Hong Kong public has donated HK$5.9 million (S$950,000) for the victims of Supertyphoon "Yolanda."

The Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) said it had launched an emergency appeal to Hong Kong residents on Tuesday for the victims of the typhoon that ravaged central Philippines.

"Up to 4:30 p.m. (Thursday), HKRC has received over HK$5.9 million from the Hong Kong public. We thank the public for their generous donations," the HKRC said in a statement.

It added that the figure included a US$500,000 (S$623,000) donation from the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) to support "the Philippine Red Cross in providing emergency relief, rehabilitation and recovery assistance to the victims."

The HKRC said it initially allocated HK$500,000 for emergency relief in the Philippines.

Street fundraising

"HKRC will also stage street fundraising activities in various spots across the territory this Sunday," the agency said.

"Many enthusiastic volunteers, members and staff members have enrolled for the activities in the hope of raising more public concern and donations for the relief operation," it added.

The donations come even after diplomatic relations between Hong Kong and Manila deteriorated due to President Aquino's refusal to apologise for the 2010 hostage tragedy that left eight Hong Kong people dead.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chunying on Nov. 5 said the former Crown colony would impose sanctions on the Philippines if no substantial progress was made in a month's time in the negotiations to compensate the victims. At the height of international humanitarian efforts in the Visayas, the Hong Kong leader said the deadline will not be extended.

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