S'pore Red Cross launches appeal for donations for Myanmar flood victims

Men wade along a flooded street at Kalay township at Sagaing division on August 2, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

SINGAPORE - A month-long fund-raising campaign has been launched by the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) to help communities affected by floods in Myanmar.

In a statement on Tuesday, SRC said that the appeal follows an initial disbursement of US$100,000 (S$140,000) to the Myanmar Red Cross on Aug 4 for relief supplies such as food, blankets, medicine, clean drinking water and hygiene kits.

SRC said that an advance team had conducted a three-day needs assessment mission in Myanmar from Aug 6-8, and had distributed relief items including sandbags, rice grains, cooking oil and drinking water to affected communities.

The team also joined the Myanmar Red Cross on boats to evacuate stranded villagers.

"Needs assessment from the team indicate that relief items such as hygiene packs, water and food in the temporary shelters are in short supply due to the unforseen influx of affected villagers," SRC said in their statement.

SRC secretary-general and chief executive officer Mr Benjamin William said: "It is difficult to ascertain the exact number of people who are affected immediately, especially when many of the affected communities are in areas made inaccessible by the floods."

"What we can expect from the worsening flood situation is that the number of people affected will increase exponentially," he warned.

Mr William also added that SRC planned to deploy medical relief to Myanmar, in anticipation of the rise in waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea and fever.

The flooding in Myanmar has resulted in a death toll of more than 100, and has affected nearly a million people.

The Singapore government has pledged US$100,000 to kickstart the public appeal last Friday.

Members of the public who wish to donate can visit the Red Cross House at Penang Lane from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, to make walk-in cash donations.

Cheques can be made out to Singapore Red Cross Society, with 'Myanmar Flood 2015 Relief Fund', the donor's name, contact number and address indicated on the back of the cheque, and posted to Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane, Singapore 236486.

Enquiries can be made to SRC at 6664 0500 or by email to enquiry@redcross.sg