DEC: More aid being distributed in Port au Prince

17/01/2010

Thousands of families are already receiving aid in Haiti, with more assistance expected in coming days.

For example:

  • Concern Worldwide aid workers are distributing 2,000 jerry cans and 100,000 water purification tablets Sunday.
  • Save the Children gave water, food and hygiene supplies to 2,000 people at a hospital Saturday.
  • 1,000 families received water and clothing kits from World Vision, who spent Saturday distributing emergency supplies.
  • A British Red Cross convoy has reached Haiti by road from the Dominican Republic, bypassing the devastated airport and port. Trucks containing emergency response equipment and medical supplies and personnel were expected to reach the most affected areas Saturday evening, and a 300-bed field hospital is being set up.

Disaster Emergency Committee Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said:

“The devastation caused by the earthquake has hit early aid efforts as well as survivors. It’s hugely encouraging that our agencies have nonetheless managed to overcome these challenges to begin reaching people affected by the earthquake,”

“Every emergency is different, and this one is presenting extreme logistical difficulties because the earthquake caused so much damage to the airport, port and roads. Despite incredibly challenging circumstances, the aid provided through the DEC is already on the ground and our members will continue to both meet urgent needs and plan for longer-term reconstruction, thanks to the generosity of the British public.”

Web and phone donations to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal have now reached £15m. The massive response shows the UK public understand that member agencies need their support as they overcome communications and logistical problems to help people desperately needing assistance. The amount includes online and phone donations only, with amounts from corporate, postal, events, SMS and over-the-counter donations still to be counted.

To make a donation to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk or call 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any post office or high street bank, or send a cheque made payable to ‘DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal’ to ‘PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA’.

Anyone wanting to stay up to date with developments in Haiti, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts can follow the DEC on twitter at http://twitter.com/decappeal or become a fan of ‘Disasters-Emergency-Committee-DEC’ on Facebook.

Notes to editors:

  • To make a postal donation make cheques payable to ‘DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal’ and mail to ‘PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA
  • Donations can be made at any high street bank, or at a Post Office by quoting Freepay 1449.
  • Text “GIVE” to 70077 to give £5 to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal. £5 goes to the DEC. You pay £5 plus the standard network SMS rate.
  • The DEC consists of: Action Aid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, World Vision.
  • The DEC criteria to launch an appeal are: The disaster must be on such a scale and of such urgency as to call for swift International humanitarian assistance. The DEC agencies, or some of them, must be in a position to provide effective and swift humanitarian assistance at a scale to justify a national Appeal. There must be reasonable grounds for concluding that a public appeal would be successful, either because of evidence of existing public sympathy for the humanitarian situation or because there is a compelling case indicating the likelihood of significant public support should an appeal be launched.
  • The DEC is very grateful for the technical advice and strategic communications support provided by BT to help us respond immediately to international disasters like the recent earthquake in Haiti. We also welcome the fact that BT are encouraging the public and their own customers to support the appeal.