Over 150000 raised by UN staff for victims of terror attack against
United Nations staff members have raised over $150,000 for a special relief fund for victims of the 11 September terror attack in New York, and most of that money has already been disbursed directly to those affected by the tragedy, the UN Staff Union said today. The fund was set up in September with an initial contribution of $25,000, which was later matched by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who urged UN staff to contribute as generously as possible. His call drew an enthusiastic approach from UN staff around the world, including a donation of over $4,000 from personnel serving with the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor. During a series of meetings, the UN Staff Relief Committee for the Victims of the Terrorist Attack on the City of New York decided to disburse the funds to those directly affected by the tragedy and to organizations that need it most. To date, the Committee has distributed $143,500 to be sent directly to victim families or to organizations that were asked to distribute the funds as soon as possible, UN staff representatives said. Most of the funds were distributed between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The largest disbursement – $43,000 – went to the families of restaurant workers lost at the top of the World Trade Center. In addition, $24,000 was allocated for various service employees lost, $20,000 for electrical workers lost, $25,000 for families of UN-related individuals lost, $9,000 for municipal members lost and $22,500 made to victim families through special requests by various staff members and other UN affiliates. So far, the Committee has helped 97 individuals and families from over 30 countries. In addition, the Committee has identified another group of victims’ families that need help and hopes to send the balance of the funds to them in the near future. All administrative costs for disbursing the monies were borne by the UN Staff Union, with the UN Federal Credit Union waiving all fees connected with the account established for the Fund.