Appalled and moved by the shocking images on their television screens, many Europeans are digging deep in to their pockets to help victims of the Asian tsunami disaster.
In Finland, charity collectors have taken donations of at least three million euros. Many cities are giving money from New Year’s Eve firework parties to the relief effort. In France, the money is also pouring in. South East Asia – particularly Thailand – is a popular and familiar destination with many Europeans. In Lyon, one woman who was making a donation said she had been shocked by the images she had seen. One French charity said it had received more donations in a day than it had in the entire previous year. In Britain, some 29 million euros has been raised by the public. Officials say some 14 million euros alone was given in one night. But while relief effort organisers say they are impressed with people’s generosity, they warn the need for aid will continue in some countries for years to come.