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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Jan. 11) – The Vanuatu government has pledged Vt5 million (US$47,300) as token assistance to the global effort of rehabilitation in areas of Indonesia and Southeast Asia that were devastated by recent tsunamis.

This announcement was made yesterday by Prime Minister Ham Lini.

While making the announcement, he also sent a message of condolence to the governments and people of the countries that were affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

"On behalf of the Government and people of Vanuatu, I do wish to send to your respective governments and the people of the region that was affected by the tsunami, our deepest sorrow and shock of the disastrous effects caused," said Lini. "It was a shock to our people to see so much destruction and suffering as a result of a single natural disaster across South Asia, the Indian Ocean, and the East coast of Africa."

Lini noted that Vanuatu has faced many natural disasters in the past like tsunamis, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes and has benefited from the donations given by the global community.

"We pray that by the grace of God, everyone who are affected will find God's mercy, peace and healing," he said.

Meanwhile, the Vanuatu Red Cross Society's public appeal for donations towards assistance to the people affected by the tsunami is progressing well.

The Chairman of the Society Mr George Sokomanu said last Saturday's concert at the Sea Front has raised over Vt200,000 (US$1,800) .

He said the funds raised will be handed over today to the Red Cross Society by the organizers of the Concert.

Apart from the concert appeal, Sokomanu said they are still to be made aware of how much has been collected through the special donations account established with the local bank.

January 13, 2005

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