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Case Study: Relief Efforts in Singapore

Volunteers can help by coordinating the relief efforts locally. For example, many local volunteers are required for the packing of relief kits and other non-monetary relief aid. Typical relief kits consist of cups, plates, cutlery, buckets, bowls, bed sheets, soap, clothes and sleeping mats.

Furthermore, some people are over enthusiastic to provide help to the victims and yet are ill informed of the local situation, thus resulting in the donation of impractical items. For example, too revealing clothes are deemed unsuitable for the generally conservative Asian society. Certain food products such as bread may spoil even before it reaches its destination. Therefore, volunteers are required to select donation items most appropriate, so that the efficiency of the relief effort is maximized.

Yet there are others who are not directly involved in the relief effort or do not have the financial capability to make a significant impact, and yet do their part for the victims of the tsunami. For example, students and members of the public have took to the streets for collection of donations. This activity has been encouraged by instituitions all over Singapore.

The Singapore government has pledged SGD 5m to relief efforts initially, including SGD 1m to the Singapore Red Cross Society (SRCS). As of January 8, SRCS has collected more than SGD 27m in donations from the public. At the recent emergency disaster summit in Jakarta, the government has pledged an additional USD 10m to help victims of the tsunami disaster. In addition, Temasek Holdings, a government linked investment corporation, has set aside USD 10m for relief work.

The government has also offered the use of its air and naval bases as a staging area to the United Nations and other relief agencies. The United Nations has also accepted Singapore's offer to set up a UN Regional Coordination Centre to coordinate relief efforts in affected areas. Singapore has also offered to rebuild hospitals and clinics in Aceh.

The Singaporean humanitarian relief operation involves more than 1200 military and civil defence personnel. The humanitarian assistance provided by its military, medical and rescue teams is estimated to cost SGD 20m.


  • Humanitarian response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 7, 2005, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanitarian_response_to_the_2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake

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