There were odd bits of humanitarian activity here amidst the end of year shopping madness. A couple of friends have been online urging people to drop off donations at collection centres around Singapore.
The government has sent a DART team, two Chinooks, with several Super Pumas on standby for Thailand and Indonesia, and has said that this is ‘over and above the $2 million assistance the government had announced to help affected countries’. It’s OK guys, no need to do PR damage control, just send help.
And the search for a platoon mate, who my reservist platoon thought had gone to Phuket for Christmas, ended with a phone call with him saying ‘wrong person lah. I never go Phuket, but I remember you and me talking to someone one night in the jungle, very dark, so cannot remember who it was. But he say he was going to Phuket with his wife’.
We’re still trying to figure out who it is.
Meantime, here’s a list (gleaned off BBC) of NGOs on the ground at the disaster sites:
Click on to find out more about what they’re doing, and how they’re trying to get aid to the sites.
I’ve also heard that some of the stuff Singaporeans have been donating, like old clothes, blankets and towels, are not quite that high on the priority list, and that these items are:
2. Food (Pre-cooked or ready-to-eat meal packs)
3. Water Purification Tablets
4. Wheat Flour, rice, other staples
5. Drugs: Paracetamol, anti-biotics, wound
dressing, suture material, disposable syringes,
vitamins, and vaccinations for diarrhea, cholera
6. Intravenous infusion (saline and
7. Portable generators
So, don’t be in a hurry to dig out your old clothes from your cupboard yet.