Friday, 15 January 2010

Haiti Earthquake Appeal

Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal for Haiti after a major earthquake struck the country. Thousands of people are dead, many are buried alive and countless have been left homeless.

We are releasing £100,000 for immediate emergency relief to help those affected, and we hope to send more.

Watch a video of Nick Guttman, Head of Christian Aid's Humanitarian Division, explaining what's happened in Haiti and why we need your help:

The quake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, struck 15km southwest of the capital Port-au-Prince just before 5pm local time on Tuesday. The Christian Aid office building collapsed and three people, including Christian Aid staff, had to be rescued from the rubble. They are shaken but safe.

Listen to our Caribbean regional manager, Judith Turbyne, as she shares the latest information from colleagues in Haiti, including the experiences of Haiti country manager Prospery Raymond and programme officer Abdonnel Doudou who had to be rescued following the collapse of the Christian Aid office: Listen to the audio*

Prospery estimates that in the area of the city where Christian Aid had its office, 97% of the housing has collapsed.

It is still too early to know the full extent of the damage, but Christian Aid is expecting very high loss of life, widespread destruction of homes, schools and other buildings, and major damage to key water, electricity and road systems.

Prospery is also concerned that there may not be enough food in the country to last longer than three to four days.

Christian Aid partners in Haiti are very experienced in emergency response work, and will begin emergency relief activities in the affected areas as soon as possible. The need is massive. People urgently need food, water, blankets, shelter and medical supplies.

Many colleagues from Christian Aid’s local partner organisations are dealing with their own personal tragedies, as well as starting to co-ordinate their disaster assessments and response.

Haiti is already the poorest country in the Americas, ranking lower than Kenya or Bangladesh on the UN’s human development index. Most people in Port-au-Prince live in flimsy slum housing, so an earthquake of this magnitude is catastrophic.

I have been working with Christian Aid taking donations (over the last couple of days). If you can help please go to their site and donate any thing you can.

Thank you.


TomS said...

Thank you Ben. I will go to the Christian Aid site.
I'd like to hear more about your work with this organization.
Good work!

Runs Like A Gay said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks very much for your donation.

Although I have donated to Christian Aid in the past I haven't done any more until this week. It just happens their call centre for taking donations is in my home town, and as I'm "resting" I was free to take some calls.