BOSNIA APPEAL / Readers donate 231,000 pounds

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THE Independent Bosnia Appeal had raised pounds 231,131.64 by the weekend. The money has been sent in by readers to help 15 charitable organisations that are operating in bitter winter conditions to ease the plight of the 2.7 million people in former Yugoslavia who are entirely dependent on aid. For every donation to one or more of charity, the Independent will add 10 per cent, up to pounds 30,000. The appeal closes on 31 January.

Among the charities are some well-known international agencies, such as the Red Cross, Oxfam and Help the Aged, but also a number of smaller organisations, such as Scottish European Aid. This group began last year with a grant of pounds 800,000 from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to work on a water engineering programme in the Tuzla area. The region is swollen with refugees and clean water is critically important. The cost of restoring an adequate water supply is about 50p a person. The group's UNHCR grant ran out last month and it needs money urgently to continue its work.

Edinburgh Direct Aid was formed in September 1992 to send food and medical aid to displaced people in Bosnia and Croatia, and has sent convoys of lorries filled with donated food and medical supplies mostly to central Bosnia.

Feed the Children, formed in 1990, has raised more than pounds 1.5m for central Bosnia in the past 18 months and delivered more than 3,400 tons of emergency medical and food supplies to destitute children and their families since. It sends two full lorries from Britain to central Bosnia each week and is the only British aid agency supplying baby food to the area.

Marie Stopes International started its Bosnian programme last May, creating four field trauma centres for Croat and Muslim refugees in Bosnia and Croatia. With pounds 1.4m in funds from EU countries and the UNHCR, the agency is establishing women's self-help support groups to address rape and trauma of war such as grief, loss, dislocation and depression. If you would like to support the appeal, please send a separate cheque for each donation, made payable to the organisation - with the wording as below - and send to: Bosnia Appeal, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

1 War Child; 2 Victims of War Appeal (former Yugoslavia) - this for the Red Cross; 3 Care; 4 Cafod (Bosnia); 5 Christian Aid (Bosnia); 6 Edinburgh Direct Aid; 7 Feed the Children; 8 Help the Aged Former Yugoslavia Appeal; 9 Islamic Relief Bosnia Fund; 10 Marie Stopes International (Bosnia); 11 Oxfam; 12 The Refugee Council; 13 Save the Children Fund; 14 Scottish European Aid; 15 UNA Trust Bosnia.