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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 December, 2004, 10:26 GMT
At-a-glance: UK aid drive
Survivors queue for water
Aid groups warn clean water is desperately needed
With tens of thousands killed in the Asian tsunami, major efforts by British charities to help the victims are under way.

  • The government has pledged 15 million to help survivors of the tsunamis which Secretary of State for International Development Hilary Benn has said is the "the first phase" of the UK's commitment to helping the afflicted countries. So far 20,000 tarpaulins, 4,500 cooking sets and 40,000 sleeping mats have been purchased to be sent to the region.

  • Under the umbrella of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), charities ActionAid, British Red Cross, Cafod, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern, Help the Aged, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision are asking for money to provide clean water, food and shelter. People can donate at post offices, banks or online at www.dec.org.uk

  • Television appeals featuring sir Trevor McDonald and David Dimbleby are due to be broadcast on Wednesday evening.

  • About 1.5m has already been raised by individual charities to try to ease the suffering in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand and beyond.

  • Oxfam will despatch its first plane from the UK on Wednesday, carrying 27 tonnes of equipment including water tanks, pumps, pipes and sanitation kit. It will fly to Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

    The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is an umbrella group of UK charities including, among others, British Red Cross, Cafod, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund
    Call them on 0870 60 60 900 or visit www.dec.org.uk
    Other bodies raising money include Muslim groups Muslim Aid (020 7377 4200) and Islamic Relief (0121 622 0622)
    Sri Lankan organisations including Asia Quake Relief Appeal UK (asia-quakerelief@europe.com) are also raising money

  • Oxfam has already raised 600,000 and hopes to achieve a total of 3m.

  • On Thursday, a British Red Cross plane will carry logistical equipment to join its team already in Sri Lanka, where the International Committee for the Red Cross has been delivering supplies and helping with evacuations. The charity is also reviewing sending more experts to the field.

  • The British Red Cross - which has raised 500,000 - also plans a further three flights from outside the UK.

  • On Sunday, Save the Children UK will send a plane to Sri Lanka where its workers have helped 37,000 families with food and medicine.

  • Christian Aid has already contributed 250,000 to the relief effort.

  • A plane loaded with supplies including tents was sent by the British government to Sri Lanka overnight on Monday.

  • Muslim groups including Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Aid, Islamic Relief and Human Relief Foundation have pledged up to 500,000.

  • Care International has sent teams to Sri Lanka to help move vulnerable communities to higher ground, and is providing food for 14,000 people in the worst-affected areas. It is also providing aid in India and Indonesia.

  • World Vision is running programmes in India, Thailand, Sir Lanka and Indonesia, giving blankets, medicine, cooking utensils, hot food and shelter to survivors.

  • Various Sri Lankan organisations in London and the rest of the UK are raising money and collecting items for the emergency.

The huge task facing aid agencies

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