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Singapore Red Cross pledges S$100,000 for victims of Australia bushfires, Jakarta floods

The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) has pledged S$100,000 in humanitarian aid to support the communities affected by the raging bushfires in Australia and the flooding in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, the organisation announced on Monday (Jan 6).

Singapore Red Cross pledges S$100,000 for victims of Australia bushfires, Jakarta floods

A helicopter drops fire retardent to protect a property in Balmoral, 150km southwest of Sydney on Dec 19, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Peter Park)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) has pledged S$100,000 to support relief and recovery efforts for those affected by bushfires in Australia and the flooding in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, the organisation announced on Monday (Jan 6).

Australia is experiencing what has been touted as the worst wildfires it has seen in a decade with at least 25 dead, while record downpour in and around Jakarta have sparked flooding and landslides that have claimed at least 66 lives.

The SRC has pledged S$50,000 to the communities affected by the Australian bushfires and will launch a public fundraising campaign. The funds will go towards supporting the humanitarian efforts by the Australian Red Cross, for the relief and recovery of survivors.

READ: Singapore to send Chinook helicopters to help fight Australian bushfires

READ: Nearly US$17m raised as Australia reels from bushfire fury

“We are deeply concerned about the situation in Australia. The full extent of the devastation is still unfolding as the authorities work to contain the massive blazes,” said Mr Benjamin William, secretary-general and CEO of SRC.

“The crisis is expected to escalate in view of the strong winds and persistent drought," he added.

A New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service firefighter sprays water on a bushfire in the suburb known as Salt Ash, located north of Newcastle in Australia, November 23, 2018. AAP/Dan Himbrechts/via REUTERS

Mr William said that the Australian Red Cross has been providing support to evacuees in 35 centres across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

It is also providing psychological first aid, distributing food hampers, water pallets, hygiene items and other essential supplies to the affected communities.

"We continue to be in communication with our counterparts in the Australian Red Cross to ascertain needs and consider further support where needed,” said Mr William.

Woman holds a child as they are evacuated by an inflatable boat, at an area affected by floods after heavy rains in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan 2, 2020. (File photo: REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan)

In Jakarta, the SRC will be sending S$50,000 to support relief and recovery operations by the Indonesian Red Cross, which is also known as Palang Merah Indonesia.

The funds will be used to purchase family kits, hygiene kits, diapers, sleeping bags, blankets and clean water for the evacuees, SRC said.

Rescuers search for missing people at a village hit by landslide in Cigudeg, West Java, Indonesia on Jan 4, 2020.. (Photo: AP/Rangga)

“It’s been a challenging time for our neighbours since New Year’s Eve. They have endured monsoon downpours, mudslides and power outages,” said Mr William.

“Even as the current floodwaters subside, the city expects heavy rain and thunderstorms in the days ahead. The search for missing persons is still ongoing, and there is a lot of work to be done," he added.

READ: 'Singapore stands in solidarity with Indonesia': Balakrishnan sends condolences after floods in Jakarta

READ: Scavengers descend on post-flood Jakarta garbage

A rescue team evacuates locals on an inflatable boat during a flood after heavy rain in Bekasi, near Jakarta, Indonesia January 1 2020, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Saptono/via REUTERS

Palang Merah Indonesia has been distributing food packs and providing health services to victims, and supporting the authorities in their efforts to prevent the spread of waterborne disease, said Mr William.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and provide further support where needed,” he added.

Source: CNA/ec

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