accessibility & help

British Red Cross launches earthquake fund

6 April 2009
For further information please contact
Mark South
Contact number tel: 0044 (0)207 877 7042 / email: / out of hours 07659 145 095

The British Red Cross has launched an appeal to support rescue and recovery efforts following the earthquake which has devastated the Italian city of L’Aquila.
More than 200 people have died and thousands are homeless following the disaster, the most destructive earthquake to hit Italy in almost 30 years.

Italian Red Cross rescue teams were on the scene of the disaster less than an hour after the earthquake struck in the early hours of Monday morning and have continued to respond with first aid, medical and psychosocial support, shelter, blankets and food.

Donations to the British Red Cross Italy Earthquake Appeal can be made online at or by calling 0845 054 7201. 

“This earthquake has shattered the everyday lives of the people of L’Aquila,” said Pete Garratt, disaster relief manager with the British Red Cross.

“We can only imagine how it must feel to go to bed as normal one night and to be woken by such devastation.

“The Italian Red Cross, working alongside the authorities, have been doing an amazing job, but we should not underestimate the scale of the disaster or the needs of survivors.

“People have lost their homes, their possessions, and most tragically people have lost their loved ones.

“While the immediate search and rescue efforts will last days, for the city and for the people caught up in this disaster, recovery will take much, much longer.” 

The British Red Cross provided £15,000 immediate aid to support the Italian Red Cross emergency response, and is now opening its own appeal to support of the people of L’Aquila and the affected region.

“The relief effort so far has been remarkable, and it is critical that people in the region, many of whom have lost everything, continue to receive the basic necessities such as food, water and shelter,” said Garratt. ” But more funds are urgently required to make sure everyone gets the help they need.

“You can give by logging on to or calling 0845 054 7201.”


Available for interview
In Italy: Tommasso Della Longa, Italian Red Cross tel: +39 32 07 979 485

In the UK:
Pete Garratt, Disaster Relief Manager, British Red Cross
Richard North, Disaster Management Officer, British Red Cross
Call Mark South on 0207 877 7042 or the out of hours pager on 0765 914 5095.
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.