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Funds to be raised for East Africa famine relief

2012/01/03 21:37:34

Taipei, Jan. 3 (CNA) The World Vision Taiwan charity, in conjunction with convenience store chain 7-Eleven, said Tuesday that around half of the funds raised through a joint famine relief campaign this year will be used to help victims of famine in East Africa.

The annual fundraiser, which began that same day and is scheduled to run through March 31, is part of the charity's long-term campaign that aims this year to raise NT$200 million (US$6.6 million).

Half of the donations will go to helping famine victims in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, where the worst drought in 60 years has affected more than 10 million people.

The rest will be used for overseas emergency and disaster relief, AIDS prevention and treatment, and post-war rebuilding, as well as for domestic emergency assistance, said Hank Du, executive director of the Christian charity.

"The dropping of coins into charity boxes has a significant meaning. A NT$10 coin can help save a life," Du told a press briefing.

He said Taiwan in the past has also received international assistance and that "now is the time to reciprocate."

Gordon Wang, executive director of 7-Eleven's Good Neighbor Foundation, said the fundraiser usually takes place from July to September, but was moved to earlier this year because "the famine victims cannot wait."

It is the 20th year that World Vision Taiwan and 7-Eleven has cooperated on the fundraiser, which has so far raised over NT$480 million.

The public can make donations at any of 7-Eleven's more-than 4,800 outlets around Taiwan.

The activity will also include a "30 Hour Famine Hero Rally" that will be held in Kaohsiung Feb. 11-12, in which participants will fast in public to raise awareness of hunger around the world.

(By Christie Chen)