Cabinet grants fund and rice in aid of Japan

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BANGKOK, 14 March 2011 (NNT) – The Cabinet has endorsed assistance for disaster-stricken Japan with 200 million THB to be spent on goods and necessities and 15,000 tons of rice.

Deputy Secretary General to the Prime Minister and Acting Government Spokesperson Panithan Wattanayagorn stated that the Cabinet had agreed to set aside 200 million THB from the emergency fund of the midyear budget to assist Japan, which was recently devastated by a massive tremor and tsunami. The amount will be used to purchase aid supplies and necessities, including instant and dry foods, blankets, raincoats and survival kits.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coordinating with the Royal Thai Navy and Air Force on the transport of the goods to Japan by sea and air. Thai Airways International is reportedly ready to carry the first lot of blankets to the quake-hit country.

The Cabinet also gave a nod to the provision of 15,000 tons of rice, consisting of 10,000 tons of jasmine rice and 5,000 tons of sticky rice. Its delivery will be overseen by Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban.

The Foreign Ministry has opened a bank account for accepting donations from the public and has also contributed 5 million THB on behalf of the Thai Government. All proceeds will go directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help Japanese people affected by the disaster.

In addition, the Government will dispatch 22 officials and 6 sniffer dogs to Japan tomorrow for the search and rescue operations along with medical teams and disaster victim identification units.