UNITED NATIONS STAFF RAISE MORE THAN $150,000 FOR VICTIMS
OF TERROR ATTACKS AGAINST UNITED STATES
NEW YORK, 11 February (UN Staff Committee)-- United Nations staff members have raised over $150,000 for a special relief fund set up by the United Nations Staff Union to help victims of the 11 September terror attacks against the World Trade Center in New York. The United Nations Staff Committee at Headquarters announced the establishment of the fund at a memorial service in September with an initial contribution of $25,000. The Secretary-General subsequently matched the staff union’s donation and urged staff to add to that initial contribution as generously as possible. Staff from around the world have responded to his call.
The United Nations Staff Relief Committee for the Victims of the Terrorist Attack on the City of New York met several times since the end of October to vote on ways to disburse the funds. There was a general agreement to try and disburse the funds to those directly affected by the tragedy and to organizations that need it the most. To date, the Committee has approved and distributed $143,500, to be sent directly to victim families or to organizations that were asked to distribute the funds as soon as possible. Most of the funds were distributed between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
The largest disbursement, of $43,000, went to the families of restaurant workers lost at the top of the World Trade Center. Amounts to others groups or individuals were: $24,000 for various service employees lost, $20,000 for electrical workers lost, $25,000 for families of United Nations-related individuals lost; $9,000 for municipal members lost; and $22,500 made to victim families through special requests by various staff members and other United Nations affiliates. The Committee has identified another group of victims’ families that need help and hopes to send the balance of the funds to them in the near future.
After the Staff Union announced the establishment of the Fund, staff responded withindividual donations that in some cases ranged up to $3,000. In addition, many staff associations -- including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)/United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS)/ Staff Association and the staff councils of United Nations Office in Vienna, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) -- made donations and/or helped in collecting funds. Contributions were received from various peacekeeping missions, especially from the staff of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, which raised over $4,000. United Nations Information Centres from Paris to Tokyo also responded generously.
Groups like African Action on AIDS and the United Nations Hospitality Committee donated money, as well as helped collect funds.
The President of the Staff-Management Coordination Committee, Joseph Verner Reed, serves as Co-Chairperson of the Committee along with the President of the United Nations Staff Union, Rosemarie Waters. Other members include Guy Candusso, Coordinator; Christiane Leboeuf, Treasurer; and Emad Hassanin, member. All monies collected are going directly to help the victim families.
All administrative costs for disbursing the monies were bourn by the United Nations Staff Union, with the United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) waiving all fees connected with the account established there.
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