We thank Mr Peter Loon Seng Chee for sharing his thoughts ("Merely offering cash not enough"; last Thursday) on how aid could be better delivered to the intended beneficiaries.
The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) is mindful that in every disaster, saving the lives of those affected is of paramount importance, and all donations received must be used effectively to alleviate the suffering of the affected people and communities.
Our humanitarian action is hence dictated by the needs of the affected people and our ability to meet such needs.
We work closely with our sister Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies and other reliable partners in the afflicted country to ensure that aid reaches those who need it most, without any discrimination.
The Tidal Waves Asia Fund (TWAF) for the great Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 raised almost $89 million.
About $5 million was utilised for emergency relief supplies.
The remainder was used for early livelihood recovery and rebuilding projects in the affected countries, initiated and undertaken by the SRC, as well as other voluntary welfare organisations and civil groups.
In order to ensure the funds were optimised, a special committee (the Tsunami Reconstruction and Facilitation Committee), comprising SRC and non-SRC members, was formed to approve funding for each project.
At the closure of the TWAF, 69 projects ranging from housing, schools, kindergartens, orphanages, medical clinics, hospitals and community centres were completed.