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News, 9/21/2005

More Finnish aid reaches Gulf Coast

A Finnish relief package worth 100,000 U.S. dollars is being distributed by U.S. authorities in the Hurricane Katrina affected areas. A Finnish cruise ship will accommodate a department of medicine.

The Finnish material aid, which includes 9,000 sheets, 1,000 pillowcases, 200 small tarps, 200 first aid kits, 120 cooler cases and 3,500 thermo sheets, has arrived in Little Rock from where it is being transported and distributed by U.S. authorities.

The Finnish cruise ship, Finnjet, which is owned by the Silja Lines shipping company, has been rented for the Louisiana State University’s Department of Medicine and is expected to arrive in Baton Rouge in early October. Finnjet will serve as a facility for the LSU Department of Medicine for at least the next six months.

The Finnish Red Cross responded immediately to a request by the U.S. Red Cross and sent three specialists in logistics and transportation to the devastated region where they have been working since a few days after the disaster hit the Gulf Coast.

Nokia, the world’s leading mobile phone supplier, donated $1 million to the U.S. Red Cross and will match employee contributions to disaster relief efforts at 100 percent.

The Finnish company’s phones were donated to shelters in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio to help evacuees contact family members. Nokia is also providing support to wireless network operators working to re-establish service in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Due to the extensive national rescue efforts, the United States did not deem Finland’s offer to send a 30-member Finnish Rescue Force to the disaster area viable for the time being.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged Finland’s relief efforts in her remarks to the international press in Alabama.

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Updated 9/22/2005

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