Nation Group has raised Bt3.05 million for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan that devastated the Philippines in December.
The donation, which will be sent to the Philippine Red Cross via the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper, a member of Asia News Network of which The Nation is a founding member, was officially submitted to the Philippine ambassador to Thailand, Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia, on Monday.
“It’s very heart-warming to have a sense of community,” Batoon-Garcia said after being informed of the participation of other ANN members in the fund drive.
ANN members in Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Bhutan, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan also raised funds for the Haiyan victims.
“The biggest lesson from the disaster is the need to have a mind shift. We now have to put into the national budget allocations for risk reductions, adaptation and mitigation,” the ambassador said.
She added that there was also a need to review urban planning and focus on reconstruction, which she noted might take about 10 years.
“We did not want to be an example but I guess it is so … for those who don’t believe that there is something called climate change, to take a look at what happened.”
Typhoon Haiyan, known to Filipinos as “Yolanda”, hit the central Philippines, particularly the city of Tacloban. At least 6,057 people were killed with thousands more still missing.
Batoon-Garcia noted that the Philippine government had instructed agencies to save “so that whatever savings that will come out of the budget this year will go to assisting the devastated areas”.
Pana Janviroj, president of The Nation and executive director of ANN, said: “The Nation was part of the Asia News Network campaign, which demonstrated the regional unity to support one another.”
The Korea Herald and Kuensel, the national newspaper of Bhutan, sent money through The Nation. Sin Chew, the leading Chinese-language daily in Malaysia, managed to raise about US$62,000 (Bt2 million) through the Sin Chew Foundation, which has also taken part in relief work in the worst-affected areas.
Vietnam News made a donation to the Philippine Red Cross via the latter’s Vietnam branch. Yomiuri Shimbun and its English-language sister The Japan News collected donations from the public for the typhoon victims through the Japanese Red Cross.
The Straits Times of Singapore, The Star of Malaysia, China Daily and The Jakarta Post also had separate fund-raisings. Details will be forthcoming.