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Rotary International, ShelterBox sign agreement to house disaster survivors

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The Rotary International (RI) and disaster relief organization, ShelterBox, have signed a project partner agreement, allowing the two organizations to collaborate more closely to provide relief and temporary shelter to survivors of natural disasters.

“The agreement will build on the strengths of both organizations in responding to disasters all over the world,” said RI in a statement March 30, 2012.

“Our Rotary friends have always been there ready to assist – from generous donations to direct operational support on the ground Rotary has always been part of our DNA,” said Tom Henderson, ShelterBox CEO.

RI General Secretary John Hewko said the agreement will enable Rotary club members to have an immediate, lifesaving impact in communities hit by natural disasters. “ShelterBox will be able to ensure that local Rotarians are provided an opportunity to participate in the distribution of ShelterBox containers,” he said.

Each ShelterBox typically provides a tent designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, stove, water purification kit, blankets, tools, and other necessities to help a family survive for six months or more after a disaster, according to Rotary.

The world economy lost $366 billion to natural disasters and about 30,000 lives were lost in 2011, according to the UN office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). About $109 billion was lost in 2010.

Over 200 million people were affected by the 302 disasters recorded during the year, the UN Office said.

By Ekow Quandzie

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