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Helping hands Swiss Broadcasting Corporation helps raise funds for Indonesia

Rescuers and militarRescuers and military personnel carry a body bag

Donations will be used to meet the most urgent needs.

(Keystone)

Following the earthquake and tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, which claimed more than 1,400 lives, the Indonesian government launched an appeal for international assistance.

Swiss Solidarity organised a national fundraising day on Friday in collaboration with the business units of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), swissinfo's parent company.

On Friday evening, the organisation said that around CHF4 million ($4 million) had been pledged.

The donations collected by Swiss Solidarity will initially be used to meet the most urgent needs.

The affected populations are in urgent need of food, water, medicine, medical equipment and shelter. Later, as resources permit, Swiss Solidarity partners will help people to recover from the disaster, for example by rehabilitating and rebuilding their homes.

As usual, hotlines were set up in the four language regions of Zurich, Geneva, Lugano and Chur.

Donations can be made to postal account 10-15000-6 with the mention "Tsunami Indonesia" or on the Swiss Solidarity websiteexternal link.

The initiative is in line with Switzerland’s strong humanitarian tradition.

Seven Swiss Solidarity partners are already on the ground: ADRA, Caritas, HEKS, Medair, Save the Children, Solidar, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Switzerland sent a second team of five experts and 900 kilograms of aid material to the disaster area on Thursday, the Swiss News Agency reported.

Searching for survivors

More than 1,500,000 people are affected by this natural disaster, the extent of which is not yet precisely known.

Many regions are cut off from the world, making it difficult to supply emergency goods.

Relief efforts are still underway to find survivors in the rubble on Sulawesi, also known as Celebes Island, which was devasted by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami.

The latest tally puts fatalities at 1,411. More than 2,500 people were injured and at least 100 others are still missing, according to the Indonesian authorities.


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