OREANDA-NEWS. April 17, 2014. The Charity Fund of Rietumu Bank starts a new stage of support to victims of the shopping centre collapse in Riga and allocates EUR 50 thousand for the improvement of working conditions of fire and rescue service staff.

Shortly after the tragedy, the Rietumu Charity Fund announced the allocation of EUR 50 thousand to help the victims and their families. The bank also addressed its clients and partners with an offer to take part in rendering such assistance, with a possibility of using the Charity Fund account for such purposes. In this period, an international e-commerce conference was held in Riga and some of its foreign participants made target contributions to the Fund at their own initiative.

At the same time, a decision was taken to forward the money allocated by the Rietumu Charity Fund and the donations coming to the Fund from the bank’s clients and partners and other private individuals to support the victims and their families, as well as to assist rescuers and firemen who worked at the site, to mitigate the consequences of the catastrophe.

As already informed, by now Rietumu Bank has opened special accumulative accounts for 25 children who lost one or both parents in the tragedy. Every such account has EUR 6 thousand credited on it; these funds, with the accumulated interest, will be available to the orphans when they reach majority age. Besides, the Rietumu Fund rendered assistance to some families in organising funerals for the victims or for the treatment of those who suffered in the tragedy.

The next stage for the Rietumu Charity Fund is assistance to the staff of the Latvian fire and rescue service. This tragedy has also attracted the attention of the community to the problems which people, who are professionally engaged in fulfilling important and often dangerous rescue tasks, face daily. Among the pressing and obvious problems, there are unworthy conditions at places of work and recreation of the fire and rescue service staff. It has turned out that the firemen sometimes lack elementary things both for fulfilling their duties and for comfortable staying at their places of duty.

The support of the rescuers is performed by the Rietumu Charity Fund within the framework of the social campaign “Rescuer – Work and Mission”, which was started last week. Rietumu Bank is the initiator and the chief sponsor of this campaign; it is arranged with the informative support of the biggest Latvian newspaper Diena.

The started campaign has immediately attracted a lot of attention on the part of the community and the authorities – during its official opening ceremony a letter was read from the Latvian Minister of the Interior Rihards Kozlovskis in support of this initiative.

As the Chairman of the Council of the Rietumu Charity Fund Arkady Suranko said at a meeting with the staff and administration of the fire and rescue service, “The tragic events that shook Latvia also showed how professionally and selflessly the employees of the fire and rescue service acted. Your work, luckily, is not seen in daily life, but in an emergency situation you behaved like men, withstood the stress and did everything you could to save the lives of people.”

The money allocated by the Fund for departments and points of the fire and rescue service throughout the entire of Latvia have already been used to acquire rescue equipment the staff need, as well as household and kitchen equipment, sports inventory; some premises have been repaired.