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IT rallies to terrorist victims' aid

Arlene Martin
US telecommunications and IT infrastructure companies have pledged large cash donations to help the families of the victims of the 11 September terrorist attacks in the US.

The telecommunications companies AT&T and AT&T Wireless are donating $1m (£670,000) in cash and $10m in pre-paid phone cards to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund. The company is promising to spend a further $300,000 to match employee contributions to non-profit aid organisations.

Cisco Systems is donating $6m to various aid organisations in New York and Washington. New York-based General Electric is donating $10m to recovery and relief efforts in the city, as well as providing additional support funds for the families of firefighters and other rescue workers who lost their lives as a result of the attacks.

Software giant Microsoft is pledging $5m in cash to a specially set up September 11 Fund, and a further $5m in cash, software and technical services to help support the recovery effort. The company has also promised to match every dollar contributed by employees to non-profit organisations up to $12,000 a year.

Online retailer Amazon.com has set up an online fund on behalf of the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund. By the evening of 13 September, approximately $3.4m had been donated by 97,000 Web site visitors.

Hewlett-Packard is giving $3m in cash to the American Red Cross and may provide up to $2m more to the Red Cross and the September 11 Fund by matching employee contributions up to that amount.

HP is also providing personal computers and other equipment to New York law enforcement and rescue agencies. Sony' s American unit will donate $4m.

Telecommunications company WorldCom Group said it was donating long-distance telephony services and pagers to government agencies in New York and Washington.

In the UK, the IT industry is also looking at ways to help. The Computer Services and Software Association, the UK suppliers' organisation, said its members were appalled by the carnage in the US but that it had not yet started to think about a fundraising initiative in the UK.

The Communications Management Association, the UK telecoms managers' body, said the organisation was not aware of any group co-ordinating donations and help in the UK. However, a spokesman said the organisation intended to look into the matter.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at the following sites:

www.uwnyc.org

www.redcross.org
www.amazon.com

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