Further Haiti fundraising will help rebuild shattered lives

28/01/2010

The DEC has announced that the wonderful generosity of the UK public means its members now have the money they need to fund their short term emergency aid efforts in Haiti. Further funds are needed by member agencies to help the Haitian people rebuild their lives from the ruins.

Member agencies are still accelerating their work to provide emergency relief including food, shelter, clothing, medical help and clean water and have already reached hundreds of thousands of people.

Planning for rebuilding and recovery will include providing good quality temporary shelter and permanent housing, supporting people to get back to work and developing longer term community services such as health care, water services and schools. The challenge is not simply to return Haiti to the poverty and desperation that was prevalent before the quake but to give survivors the chance of something better. DEC members will be able to draw on their experience of building more than 20,000 high quality, earthquake resistant homes in the Indonesian province of Aceh alone after the 2004 Tsunami.

Brendan Gormley, Chief Executive of the DEC said:

"We appealed for help two weeks ago and the generosity of the public has been staggering. Our member agencies are extremely grateful and are hard at work using the money to get aid to those who need it most. The aid is getting through, more and more each day. The response of people in the UK has shown that we do care about people in poor countries. As a result we can now commit to expanding the presence many agencies had in Haiti before the quake and staying for the long haul.

“Haiti was an extremely poor country before this earthquake, and we want to ensure that money that has and will be generously donated by the UK public is used to work with communities to help them rebuild from scratch. We don’t want the aid effort to just be a sticking plaster - we want to leave Haiti stronger than it was before the quake. That’s why we will be spending the money donated by the public over a three year period. We learnt a great deal during the reconstruction members undertook after the 2004 tsunami and the public are giving us the chance to ensure Haiti benefits from that experience.”

The total donated to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal so far has now reach £58m and the knowledge that this money is available has allowed member agencies to rapidly scale up their emergency relief efforts. They have already helped hundreds of thousands of survivors despite destroyed or buried of roads, disruption at the port and airport, the death of key staff in aid agencies, the UN and Haitian Government; and the vast needs of millions of people sheltering in a shattered city. Their efforts have saved lives and vastly improved many people’s chances of continued survival.

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.