$4.6m raised in S'pore for typhoon victims

$4.6m raised in S'pore for typhoon victims
Ten-year-old Cleo Contreras (above) with Singapore Red Cross chairman Tee Tua Ba and Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Minda Calaguian-Cruz.

When 10-year-old Cleo Contreras saw homes battered by Super Typhoon Haiyan on television, she broke her piggy bank and gave all her savings to relief efforts.

"I felt very sorry for the victims when I watched the news," said Cleo, a Singaporean whose parents were from the Philippines. "I wanted to donate all the money I could."

Cleo and her two brothers had been saving for three months for a new PlayStation 4, but on Wednesday, the Primary 4 pupil said: "I felt happy because I helped someone."

Cleo's $15.15 donation is part of the $3.8 million the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) has raised for victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan since it started collecting donations about a fortnight ago. One of its major donors was developer Oxley Holdings, which gave $1 million.

Mercy Relief has raised about $800,000 in the same period.

"The outpouring of generosity from Singaporean corporates and individuals was overwhelming," SRC secretary-general Benjamin William said.

The $3.8 million will fund mainly health-care missions and rebuilding efforts. In the first phase of the SRC's relief efforts, a four-man team went to ravaged areas such as Ormoc city, Malapascua Island and Cebu. They distributed food and aid packages to about 1,360 families.

"We are not in Tacloban because many international groups are already there. We do not want to duplicate efforts," said Mr William.

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