Here’s how you can help the victims of Paris atrocities
Want to help the victims of the terror attacks in Paris? There’s a number of ways you can make a difference.
A series of attacks took place in the French capital last night, with coordinated bomb and gun attacks claiming the lives of over a hundred people.
The death count currently stands at 128, with hundreds more injured following the killings across the city at restaurants, a rock concert and a football match.
The world has rushed to show solidarity with the French, with a number of landmarks lighting up in the colours of the French flag, and flowers left outside French embassies across the globe.
However, there are several ways you can help:
Offer a safe home through #PorteOuverte
Planes, ferries and the Eurostar are all now up and running, with extra border checks in place.
However, those in France and elsewhere have been using the Twitter hashtag #PorteOuverte (#OpenDoor) to offer a place to stay to those who are stranded following the attack. If you have a spare room, you can offer it to those who are stranded.
If you are local and eligible, give blood
France continues to operate a ban on men who have sex with men giving blood. This is due to be relaxed, but currently remains in place .However, lesbians and heterosexuals are still eligible to donate.
If you are in Paris or the surrounding area, you can donate blood through the French National Blood Service. Officials have asked for donations to be spaced out in the coming days or weeks.
Major terror attacks are followed by a sharp drop in tourism, but many businesses in and around Paris rely on tourists to make a living.
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There are currently some travel restrictions in place – but if you planned on visiting Paris in the future, do so.
Give to the Red Cross
The Red Cross has already sent hundreds of volunteers to the affected areas, working to help the victims and their families. You can donate to Croix-Rouge Française here. You can also donate to the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund, which helps with crises across the world – especially in less developed countries.
Give to local groups
If you prefer not to donate to the Red Cross, the Secours Populaire Français is a France-based organisation that works to combat poverty and provide disaster relief. It also provides emergency aid and support.
Make sure your friends and family know you’re safe
Facebook has rolled out its Safety Check feature across France, allowing people to notify their friends and family that they are safe.
If you are in France or the surrounding area, make sure you take advantage of the opportunity. If you are looking to contact someone in France, Google is also allowing free calls to any French number via the Google Hangouts app.