IT is a simple plea - help them. And today the Examiner has teamed up with the Unicef charity to enlist the people of Huddersfield in a bid to ease the suffering of those affected by the Asian earthquake and tidal waves.

The death toll is rising daily and now around 140,000. Many thousands of people are still missing and millions more have lost their homes, their livelihoods and their hope.

Exactly a year ago, the Examiner successfully worked with Unicef to raise thousands of pounds to help victims of the earthquake in Bam, Iran.

Now we want to help again.

Unicef is already active in the countries affected. Relief is already on the way to the countries hardest hit by the tidal waves - tsunamis - working to meet the urgent needs of hundreds of thousands of survivors who now need shelter, water, medical supplies and other urgent help.

Cash support will be used immediately.

With millions of people affected in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Maldives and other smaller countries Unicef is working to assess priorities and provide immediate help.

Examiner editor Roy Wright said: "No-one can fail to have been moved by the Press and TV reports of the immense suffering over the past few days.

"People feel helpless, but now there is an opportunity for people in Huddersfield to do their bit to help ease the suffering."

Unicef regional fundraising director Louis Coles welcomed the Examiner support. He added: "It is likely that the water supply is contaminated with salty sea water, making it undrinkable.

"Clean water is crucial to prevent the spread of disease."

"In Sri Lanka, we have already responded to government requests for shelter supplies, providing more than 30,000 blankets and sleeping mats, along with T-shirts and other clothing items.

"We have also flown out oral rehydration salts for sick children, medical supplies sufficient to serve 150,000 people for three months, shelter equipment such as tents, blankets and other relief items.

"In Sri Lanka, landmines are posing a new risk and to relief efforts. Mines and warning signs were washed out of known minefields, so now people don't know where they are."

In India, Unicef is supporting relief efforts. In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, it is providing hundreds of thousands of water purification tablets, 1,600 community water tanks (500 litres each), 200,000 sachets of oral rehydration salts, 30,000 blankets and supplies for 30 health centres.

A Unicef relief flight to Indonesia is being loaded in Copenhagen with medical supplies, nutritional supplies for children, water purification tablets and shelter equipment.

In the Maldives, Unicef is working with other aid agencies on aid that will include water purification supplies, food, clothing for children, shelter and other basics. In Thailand, Bangladesh and Myanmar Unicef is supporting government efforts.

Mr Coles said: "Examiner readers can help us make a difference now. Please send us whatever you can afford TODAY."


Please make your cheque payable to Unicef Asia Appeal.

Complete the coupon in today's paper (by completing this we may be able to claim Gift Aid on your donation, thereby making money go further). Send a cheque and the coupon to the Huddersfield Examiner/Unicef Children of Asia Emergency Appeal, Freepost, Billericay CM12 0BR.