By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, Feb 4: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has made a donation of 100,000 Swiss francs to facilitate relief efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
The donation was made through the International Red Cross Committee in Geneva.
In a faxed letter to the Tibetan leader, Bekele Geleta, the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, has expressed "heartfelt gratitude for the generous contribution".
“Your commitment to help our operation in Haiti is much appreciated and your gesture of solidarity has been communicated to the Haitian Red Cross and to our teams based in the field," the letter said.
Geleta said: “The world has responded to this emergency with an outpouring of concern and the chain of solidarity in the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has involved many sister National Societies who are actively supporting the Haitian Red Cross in its efforts to deliver live-saving assistance to the Haitian people.”
“Please accept again our sincere thanks for your personal support to our humanitarian efforts," Geleta wrote in the letter.
A devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation last month, toppling thousands of buildings, including the U.N. peacekeeping headquarters and government buildings. It was a day when even the Haitian President was temporarily left homeless after the quake flattened the country’s landmark presidential palace.
At the time, the Dalai Lama sent a condolence letter to President Rene Garcia expressing "deep sympathy and heartfelt condolences" to the families of the earthquake victims.
In the letter, the 74-year old Nobel Peace Laureate said he was “deeply saddened by the loss of so many lives and property” as a result of the earthquake that reportedly killed up to 200,000 Haitians and left up to 1 million homeless..
“I offer my prayers for those who have lost their lives in this tragedy and condolences to their families and others affected by this natural disaster,”His Holiness wrote in the letter.