22 April 2005

United Nations Vienna Staff Contribute to Tsunami Relief Aid

VIENNA, 22 April (UN Information Service) -- In response to the Tsunami disaster last December in the Indian Ocean, the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Staff Council at Vienna (UNSCV) launched an initiative whereby every month, from February until the end of 2005, staff members voluntarily contribute one per cent of their net salaries to Tsunami relief aid.

Every two months, the over 800 staff members are invited to select aid organizations providing relief to Tsunami victims to receive the proceeds. The three organizations that will receive the funds collected in February and March are: the Austrian Village for Flood Victims, Save the Children and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The staff of UNOV and UNODC will continue this initiative until the end of 2005.  Rather than committing all funds in one go, distribution of funds will be decided every two months to make sure that the money is used for the most pressing requirements of the moment. The selection of the receiving organizations is done electronically on-line and therefore requires neither paper nor time nor volunteers collecting and counting ballots.

* *** *