SINGAPORE, 25 April 2016 – SINGAPORE’S home-grown humanitarian nongovernmental organisation (NGO) Mercy Relief has received S$300,000 from donors in Singapore after it launched a public fundraising appeal on 19th April 2016 for relief efforts for the earthquake-stricken Kumamoto prefecture of Japan. Among the generous donors was global payments technology giant MasterCard, who contributed US$100,000 (approximately S$135,000) to Mercy Relief’s fundraising campaign.
Part of the collected donations will be channelled towards continuing provision of warm cooked meals to the earthquake survivors and also essential relief supplies to vulnerable groups like the handicapped, elderly and children whom the government services have not fully reached out to. Depending on changing needs on the ground, Mercy Relief will also work closely with ground partners in Kumamoto as they focus on progressing into the early disaster recovery phase with organised psychosocial activities to help affected communities cope with the traumatic experience.
Georgette Tan, Group Head, Communications, Asia/Pacific for MasterCard, said, “Last week’s earthquake in Kumamoto destroyed not only people’s homes but also their means of livelihood. We want to ensure we are doing our part to provide people with aid for immediate safety, security and nutrition so they can get back on their feet. We are proud to partner with Mercy Relief in their disaster relief and recovery work on the ground with the affected communities in Japan.”
As part of its ongoing relief efforts for communities affected by the Kumamoto earthquakes, Mercy Relief completed two separate relief distributions of disaster relief supplies and cooked meals to a total of more than 900 evacuees last week. The distributions were carried out in the city of Aso and Mashiki town in Kumamoto on 22nd April 2016. Basic food and non-food items including luncheon meat packs and soap were distributed. To supplement rice balls provided for by the Japanese military, Mercy Relief set up a hot kitchen to provide warm cooked meals such as meat and vegetable soup for added nutrition to the evacuees’ meals.
Mercy Relief’s Executive Director Zhang Tingjun said, “Being able to raise S$300,000 in such a short time reflects the generosity and kindness people in Singapore have to give when other countries experience a crisis. We thank MasterCard and everyone in Singapore for their generous donations that will offer much-needed aid to our postdisaster recovery efforts. There’s still plenty of relief and recovery work to be done and we hope that the people in Singapore will continue their strong support for our initiatives in Japan.”
Over 81,000 evacuees remain temporarily displaced in emergency evacuation centres around the Kumamoto prefecture. Some of these centres in mountainous areas, such as the city of Aso, experience intermittent access to supplies and even run low on food and water occasionally as roads in the area have been damaged by the earthquakes and some become inaccessible during heavy rains.
Thousands of people have chosen to camp outdoors in open spaces at night in fear of another strong earthquake and jolting tremors. According to the local media in Kumamoto, an estimated 43,100 households in Kumamoto still do not have water supply, and 91,000 households without gas supply.
The public can continue to contribute to Mercy Relief’s fundraising campaign, which runs through to 31st May 2016. Donations can be made through the following channels:
1) Credit Card donation via Mercy Relief’s website: www.mercyrelief.org 2) Cross cheque to Mercy Relief Limited with “Japan Earthquake Relief 2016” written on the back of the cheque, and mailed to Blk 160, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-1568, Singapore 310160 3) Cash donations at Blk 160, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-1568, Singapore 310160 4) Funds transfer to Mercy Relief’s DBS Current Account 054-900741-2
About Mercy Relief
Headquartered in Singapore, Mercy Relief was established in 2003 to respond to human tragedies and disasters in Asia Pacific. Today, we are Singapore’s leading independent disaster relief agency with dedicated leadership, capacity building expertise and an affiliate network operating across the entire disaster management cycle. Mercy Relief provides emergency aid within 72 hours of an appeal in the aftermath of a disaster.
Our longer-term sustainable development projects aim to uplift and empower communities in five key areas: water and sanitation, shelter, sustainable livelihoods, healthcare and education. For the past decade, Mercy Relief has responded to more than 56 human tragedies with more than $32.5 million in relief across 24 countries. We have implemented more than 50 sustainable development initiatives and impacted an aggregate of over 2 million lives.
For more information, visit www.mercyrelief.org/.
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