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Red Cross’ Japan aid exceeds W20b

The National Red Cross has collected a record 20 billion won to aid Japan’s quake victims, the highest sum ever raised here to help victims of a natural disaster.

The organization said donations totaled 21.3 billion won ($19.1 million) as of Saturday, breaking the previous record of 19.3 billion won collected for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. in 2005. The Katrina fund was collected over four months.

The Red Cross said the Japan fund was phenomenal since it has been only three weeks since the campaign was launched. In less than three days from the kickoff, 5.9 billion won had been collected already.

The group has delivered a total of $8 million to the Japanese Red Cross so far. It has also started delivering necessities to the disaster-stricken area, including 2,000 survival kits on behalf of Samsung Group. Instant noodles and other foods as well as other necessities will be delivered next.

“The fact that Japan is geographically so close to Korea has moved many Koreans to help Japan from the bottom of their hearts,” the Red Cross spokesperson said.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Monday that Community Chest of Korea, the government-authorized charity group, also collected 10.8 billion won over the same period.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)
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