Aid Effort Will Continue

The Scottish government will continue to offer support to Scottish based aid agencies tackling the aftermath of natural disasters throughout the world, International Development Minister Patricia Ferguson said on Boxing Day. The Minister was speaking on the 2nd anniversary of the Asian tsunami.

Later she attended the annual tsunami memorial service at the Buddhist Vihara in Glasgow. Venerable K. Sri Rewatha Thero conducted the service.

Ms Ferguson said: “In the last few years we have seen an unprecedented number of natural and man-made disasters – the Asian tsunami, the ongoing food crises in Africa and the earthquake in Kashmir. These terrible tragedies have devastated communities.

“In September, I announced that the International Development Fund, which helps some of the world’s poorest countries, would increase by 50 per cent from an annual £3 million to £4.5 million for the next two years. The fund will ensure that Scottish based aid agencies are in a position to offer practical support to local communities coming to terms with unimaginable hardship.”

The commemoration service will took place at Scotland’s new Buddhist Vihara in 2002 Maryhill Road, Glasgow on 26th December 2006. After the service a new statue of the Buddha was unveiled and blessed. A Sri Lankan artist at the new Vihara premises carved the statue, the largest of its type in the U.K.