Nearly B600m raised for flood victims

Nearly B600m raised for flood victims

Actor Bin Bunluerit, second from left, with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, third from left, after the government's public appeal for donations for flood victims at TV Channel 9 in Bangkok on Tuesday night. (Screenshot from Thai News Agency)
Actor Bin Bunluerit, second from left, with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, third from left, after the government's public appeal for donations for flood victims at TV Channel 9 in Bangkok on Tuesday night. (Screenshot from Thai News Agency)

Two appeals launched to raise funds for flood victims in Ubon Ratchathani - one private, one government - have raised 595 million baht in total.

The government raised 263 million baht from its TV channel 9 charity call on Tuesday night, while actor Bin Bunluerit's appeal has received 332 million baht since Saturday.

The government fund-raiser jumped on the coat-tails of Bin's charity initiative to help flood victims in the northeastern province of Ubon Ratchathani. The actor kick-started the appeal on Saturday with 1 million baht from his own wallet, and called on others to join him.

Bin said while helping victims in Ubon Ratchathani that local people hit by the flood were largely daily wage earners and in need of money, so he was raising cash donations for them.

He also mentioned that the government was giving 1,000 baht each to domestic tourists  and so should also give cash to flood victims, who were starving. His supporters were looking to rise from 1,000 to 5,000 baht each for flood victims.

On Monday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he felt uncomfortable with people's requests for 5,000-baht handouts because the government had regulatory procedures to meet before rolling out financial assistance to flood victims.

Gen Prayut later announced he would make a 100,000 baht donation from his own pocket.

On Tuesday Bin was helping victims in Ubon Ratchathani's Warin Chamrap district. He accepted the government's invitation to join its fund-raising programme on TV in Bangkok in the evening.

He had a brief talk with Gen Prayut at the TV channel and also saw off the prime minister after the programme ended. 

Bin said on Wednesday morning that he had no problems with the government, but was sincerely trying to help flood victims and wanted to report the real situation in flooded areas.

There was no plan to combine his group's donations with those the government raised. He promised to use the money transparently to help those in need. He said people had donated 332 million baht in total  to his account.

Prime Minister Prayut wrote on his Facebook account on Wednesday morning that he was grateful to all donors and all parties that were helping flood victims in Ubon Ratchathani.

It was reported in the afternoon that he planned to visit Ubon Ratchathani on Thursday to meet flood victims and hand out aid at army's shelters and flooded riverside communities.


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