Kiwi fundraises for Aleppo victims

The ghastly images coming out of the Syrian city of Aleppo have prompted one eastern Bay of Plenty woman to take action.

Thousands of people are being evacuated  under a ceasefire deal that marks a major victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The first convoy of ambulances and buses with nearly 1,000 people aboard has driven out of the devastated rebel-held area of Aleppo, according to a Reuters reporter.

In response to the suffering, Whakatane's Anne Bulley has formed WhaleAid, and she's seeking donations of money, clothing or blankets to help victims of the war.

"As we approach the sixth year of civil war within Syria, over 11 million people are homeless and at least 250,000 people are stranded under siege. While international support provides some relief, it can only go so far," reads its Givealittle page.

"Families are desperately in need of blankets, clothing, water purification tablets, water storage containers, and solar lights... to name just a few."

One of WhaleAid's fundraising initiatives is a 9.36km sponsored swim from Whale Island to Whakatane. It hopes to inspire Kiwis to set up their own fundraising initiatives.

All money raised will go directly to families in the form of ShelterBox relief packages through Mike Seawright at ReliefAid, a New Zealand-based charitable organisation.