A fundraising campaign has raised nearly $9.4 million for the victims of last month's terror attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, a charity group announced Monday.
More than 95,000 people from 139 countries across the world have donated for the Christchurch Shooting Victims' Fund, according to Victim Support, an independent charity in England and Wales that provides specialist practical and emotional support to victims and witnesses of crime.
"Ensuring their daily needs are met, such as food and ensuring that accommodation, rent, mortgages are paid and that loved ones can actually travel to New Zealand or there have been occasions where we've had to support people who wanted to repatriate their loved ones," Victim Support chief executive Kevin Tso told Radio NZ, a New Zealand public-service radio broadcaster.
At least 50 Muslims were killed and as many injured on March 15 when a terrorist entered the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch and shot worshipers in cold blood, including four children. The incident has been internationally condemned and various protests were held calling for steps against anti-Muslim sentiment. On March 24 a protest against Islamophobia following the attacks at Christchurch in New Zealand was held in Times Square in New York. Muslims, Christians and Jews gathered in the famous square to commemorate the victims. During the demonstration, people carried out banners that read "Islam is peace," and "Terrorism has no religion."
As the shocking incident prompted an international outcry, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) took the decision to hold an emergency meeting in order to discuss the issue in Turkey. Praising the reaction and empathy shown by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern following the attack, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Ardern's stance should be an example to world leaders.