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Public donations Switzerland raises CHF6.2 million for Indonesia earthquake tragedy

Survivors of the Indonesian earthquake

Survivors of the Indonesian earthquake await evacuation from Sulawesi.

(Keystone)

The Swiss public has donated CHF6.2 million ($6.25 million) to help Indonesia deal with the aftermath of an earthquake and tsunami that has claimed at least 1,571 lives. The disaster hit the Indonesian island of Sulawasi last month.

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

Hotlines were set up in the cities of Zurich, Geneva, Lugano and Chur in response to an appeal from the Indonesian government for international assistance. Outgoing Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann took a stint manning the telephone hotline.

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.

Switzerland is among 11 countries that have sent funds to Indonesia. Other nations include the United States, Britain and Australia. 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.

swissinfo.ch/mga

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