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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 December, 2004, 13:01 GMT
Sri Lankan expatriates offer help
A man walks past a damaged house
UK-based Sri Lankans contributed money to help the relief effort
Sri Lankans based in the UK have begun a relief effort to help nationals who have been hit by the Asian quake.

The Sri Lanka High Commission has appealed to expatriates to donate "essential items and materials" and "financial contributions".

Relief organiser Mubarak Gaffour said the Asia Quake Relief Appeal UK hopes to raise as much money as possible.

Mr Gaffour said just under 10,000 had been raised so far, which would be spent on water, milk and medicine.

Everyone is coming forward to help and make a difference
Mubarak Gaffour
Relief organiser

The relief organiser, who lost an uncle and cousin in the disaster, said money raised will be sent to Sri Lanka where aid agencies will use the funds to pay for much-needed materials.

And some Sri Lankan doctors based in the UK are said to be keen to return to the country to take part in the relief effort.

"We know of doctors who are willing to go out there to help, but we need a sponsor to come forward," said Mr Gaffour.

"We just need someone to say that they can pay for the air fares."

Mr Gaffour, who is based in Wembley, north-west London, added: "Overall, we are very happy with the response we have had so far and we hope to have collected around 50,000 by the end of the week.

"Everyone is coming forward to help and make a difference".

Collections

The Asia Quake Relief Appeal is collecting clothes and food which will be given to other agencies.

It will provide resources to other communities - of whatever religion - in other countries affected.

An open letter to Sri Lankans in the UK from the country's High Commission calls for people, where possible, to provide tents and blankets, as well as food, water purification tablets and medicine.

It goes on: "In the medium term, the needs are for housing and rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure."

  • The Asia Quake Relief Appeal UK can be contacted at asia-quakerelief@europe.com





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