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Tsunami Disaster

6 January 2005 - 8:10am

In the wake of the massive tsunami disaster in South and South East Asia, the TUC is making an urgent appeal to all TUC affiliates and individual union members to give generously to help the victims. Find out more about donating and volunteering here...


In the wake of the massive tsunami disaster which hit South and South East Asian countries on 26 December, causing breathtaking levels of death and devastation, the international union movement has mobilised to show solidarity. In Britain, the TUC is making an urgent appeal to all TUC affiliates, union organisations and individual union members to give generously to the TUC Aid appeal for money to help the victims. The TUC will also be helping the regional trade unions to rebuild and re-equip themselves.

The tsunami appeal is urgent because 150,000 have died in nine countries, and five million are homeless and in dire need. The TUC has heard from the world union body, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions' (ICFTU) Asia Pacific Regional Organisation (APRO), who report considerable damage to trade union offices and the prospects of massive job losses in tourism and ancillary services sectors. The economies of the region and the trade unions in the sectors concerned will take years to recover.

You can help by sending a personal donation or by organising a collection at your workplace or among colleagues or friends. All money received will go to the ICFTU-APRO to help the victims and their families, and for repairs and renovation to union buildings. Cheques, payable to 'TUC Aid -Tsunami Appeal', can be sent to: TUC Aid - Tsunami Appeal, EUIRD, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS.

The TUC has also set up a secure online donation facility on its website. Donations made in this way receive gift aid tax relief, which can add an extra 29% to their value: visit

Donations can also be made through the Disasters Emergency Committee website at or by calling 0870 60 60 900.


If you would  like to volunteer your physiotherapy skills then take your cue from experienced development agencies. Physiotherapists are likely to be required later in the development phase rather than right now. The most pressing current need  is for water engineers and humanitarian relief personnel as you will have seen from the news media.

Anyone wanting to volunteer should do so with a recognised  organisation as disasters require a coordinated response and the scale of this one makes it especially important  to collaborate with existing networks.Physiotherapists wishing to offer their services can register with International Health Exchange who act as a clearing house for all agencies including the Department for International Development. You should have a minimum of two years experience. For more information visit the following websites: International Health Exchange  and VSO.

Handicap International (website) are appealing for money for disability related projects and for volunteer respiratory physiotherapists to register with them.


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