Haiti

$150,000 released from Save the Children's "Children's Emergency Fund" for Haiti quake: Twenty four staff members missing in Haiti

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Save the Children Australia today released $150,000 from its newly created Children's Emergency fund to help children and their families affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti, which has claimed thousands of lives and left millions in need of aid.

Funds from the Children's Emergency Fund will be directed immediately to the most vulnerable children and their families in Haiti, and used to purchase life savings supplies such as medicine, food and water.

Australian Ian Rodgers working for Save the Children in Haiti said, "Children are the most vulnerable in this kind of crisis, and many may have lost their parents in the chaos of the earthquake."

"It's a hugely traumatic experience for any child to go through, and we have to make sure we get help and protection to children fast," said Rodgers. "Port-au-Prince is densely populated and sanitation is already very bad. Many families don't have toilets and piles of rubbish are strewn around the city."

In Port-au-Prince Save the Children's offices suffered structural and water damage. Twenty four Save the Children staff members are still attempting to be contacted by Mr Rodgers and his team. Another thirty four are known to be safe.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and is prone to experiencing natural disasters. It suffered four hurricanes in a matter of weeks in 2008. The average life expectancy in Haiti is only 52 years.

Save the Children has worked in Haiti since 1985, primarily in the capital city of Port-au-Prince and the Central Plateau region, providing health, education, protection and food security programs to vulnerable children.

To Donate to Save the Children's Haiti earthquake emergency appeal:

Call 1800 76 00 11

visit www.savethechildren.org.au to make a secure online donation

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Ian Rodgers

call Ian Woolverton on 0437 355 096