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National fundraising Swiss donate to typhoon relief

Swiss President Ueli Maurer takes donations for the Swiss Solidarity national fundraising day in Bern

(Keystone)

Over CHF9 million ($9.9 million) have been pledged on a national fundraising day for victims of typhoon Haiyan.

The storm devastated the Philippines on November 8, reportedly causing up to 5,000 deaths.


Monday’s donation event, which started at 6am, was the 35th nationwide day to raise money for aid in the 67-year history of Swiss Solidarity, the fundraising arm of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), swissinfo.ch’s parent company.

Swiss Solidarity has received CHF14 million in direct donations and is now waiting for those who made pledges during the fundraising day to donate their share of the promised amount using payment slips.

Volunteer-staffed donation lines were open until midnight at the SBC’s studios in Bern, Chur, Geneva, Lugano and Zurich.

The Swiss foreign ministry has already announced that Switzerland has pledged CHF6 million to help disaster relief.

This money has been earmarked for assistance in four areas: water, sanitation, emergency shelter and medical care. In addition, Switzerland will support other aid organisations working in the area, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations, both financially and through the deployment of experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit.

In the week following the typhoon, Switzerland sent 21 tons of emergency supplies to the Philippines, but according to Swiss public television SRF, much of the aid sent by a variety of countries was having trouble reaching victims due to problems with infrastructure.   

On Saturday, the foreign ministry announced that aid – including food, hygiene kits, temporary shelter kits and cooking utensils – had reached the victims in the north of the island Cebu.

Typhoon Haiyan, estimated to be one of the most powerful tropical storms ever to reach land, has reportedly displaced more than 900,000 people and affected almost 12 million.

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The devastation in Tacloban (RTS.ch)

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