January 3, 2005

LOCAL ASSISTANCE OPPORTUNITIES TO AID TSUNAMI VICTIMS

        The following information was provided to the City of Lodi by the U.S. Conference of Mayors:

The recent tragedy created by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Indonesia and subsequent tsunami in South and Southeast Asia, resulted in a devastating loss of life and a catastrophic humanitarian emergency.  With a rising death toll in Southeast Asia and a recent report that 12 Americans lost their lives, the United States dispatched emergency humanitarian assistance to respond to the urgent needs.  President Bush announced an initial commitment of $35 million in aid from the United States, which will be allocated for distribution through the International Federation of the Red Cross; the U.S. embassies in affected nations; as well as non-governmental and other organizations.  If your community plans to contribute to the relief efforts or provide information on how people can help – for example, you are welcome to post the information below on your website – please let us know.  Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that “this is an international tragedy and we’re going to do everything we can to assist the nations that have been affected in dealing with this tragedy.”  For more information about the disaster and the U.S. response, please refer to the transcript of Secretary Powell’s briefing at:

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/40057.htm >

We received a number of inquiries about how individuals and communities can assist in the relief effort and we would like to share this information with you.  Information on how to provide assistance to those in need, by making donations or volunteering, can be found at:

·         USAID (http://www.usaid.gov/  http://www.usaid.gov/ ):  The following link on the USAID website provides comprehensive information about the various ways that people can help as well as updates on the situation in South and Southeast Asia:

<http://www.usaid.gov/locations/asia_near_east/tsunami/

http://www.usaid.gov/locations/asia_near_east/tsunami/ >

·         The most effective way that people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian operations that are conducting relief operations.  A list of humanitarian organizations that are accepting donations for the relief effort can be found in the “How Can I Help” section of the USAID website

·         Center for Disaster Information (CIDI): Please call 703-276-1914 or visit http://www.cidi.org 

 For information about the welfare and whereabouts of American citizens, please direct people to call 1-888-407-4747.  Thank you for your continued involvement in international affairs.

 Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC 20520
Tel. (202) 647-5358
Fax. (202) 647-1579
Paiga@state.gov