Haiti: Humanitarian situation continues
Flood waters are receding in Haiti following the passage of three powerful storms that caused severe flooding in several communities there. Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna, and Ike swept through the Caribbean in quick succession causing wide-spread destruction.
According to the Haitian National Civil Defence, the storms have killed over 400 people, destroyed 10,000 homes, and damaged another 44,000. In total, it is estimated that 131,000 families have been affected. In addition, many crops have been destroyed, further challenging the already vulnerable food security situation in Haiti.
Thousands of local Red Cross volunteers and staff from the Haitian Red Cross have been working tirelessly to distribute shelter materials, food and water, and provide basic first aid.
The Canadian Red Cross has deployed aid workers and urgently needed supplies to support relief efforts in Haiti and will continue to send supplies and personnel as needed.
The Government of Canada has generously deployed relief supplies to over 2,000 families in affected communities in Haiti. These supplies arrived in Port au Prince on September 10th and were accompanied by a Red Cross Logistics Officer.
Due to the immense needs in Haiti, the Canadian Red Cross is urging the Canadian public to support relief efforts already underway in Haiti and to help the Red Cross support communities as they rebuild in the weeks and months to come.
Canadians wishing to donate may do so online, by calling toll-free 1-800-418-1111 or in-person at any Red Cross office. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Haiti Hurricane” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.
In-kind donations of food, clothing and other items, while well intentioned, are not the best way to help those in need. There are tremendous processing and transportation costs involved in shipping these items to beneficiaries. Local purchases of food and clothing are more culturally appropriate and effective. Red Cross supplies can be purchased in the immediate area, thereby reducing transportation costs. Cash transfers to the affected region provide the optimum flexibility to our Red Cross colleagues so they can meet the most urgent needs.