Santiago: The Red Cross has doubled its aid appeal for Chileans made homeless by last month`s massive earthquake, saying the costs of the disaster will be greater than anticipated.
The Red Cross hiked its appeal to USD 12.9 million
after devastation from the February 27 earthquake and tsunami
that struck much of south-central Chile became apparent in the
days after the event.
The funds will "provide more comprehensive assistance
to a greater number of families", the International Federation
of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said in a
The money will be directed towards health services,
aid in obtaining a shelter, and water and sanitation services
for one year, it said.
IFRC Secretary General Bekele Geleta, currently on a
visit to Santiago, said that in talks with outgoing President
Michelle Bachelet and regional officials it became clear "that
emergency and transitional shelter were absolute priorities,
especially with the rainy season beginning very soon and
winter just around the corner."
It will take months to rebuild the many severely
damaged hospitals, he said.
"In the meantime, the health needs of the population
in those regions must be met," Geleta said.