Estonia Aids Victims of Earthquake in Haiti

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Estonia is donating one million kroons through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help alleviate the effects of the earthquake in Haiti. In co-operation with the Interior Ministry and the Estonian Rescue Service, the Foreign Ministry will also send an IT expert and likely a logistics team with supplies to help support the activities of international organisations on site. The Estonian experts will travel to the crisis region along with experts from the Nordic countries within the framework of International Humanitarian Partnership.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that the international organisations that have representatives at the scene have launched extensive aid operations. "Victims of the earthquake are lacking in medical supplies, food and drinking water, and thousands are without shelter. Access to the disaster zone is also difficult. Haiti needs medical equipment, search and rescue technology, and means of communications," said Paet. "With the help of their observers, international organisations will be able to best assess the situation and the nature of the aid needed. This is why the Foreign Ministry is sending its financial aid through the Red Cross," Paet said, explaining Estonia's choice for providing aid.

The International Red Cross has sent out its first appeal for help to the extent of 10 million dollars. The aid will we directed towards helping the 20 000 families (100 000 people) affected by the earthquake for the next nine months. The Red Cross also hopes to get the first field hospital working, which would be capable of helping at least 50 people at once.

Gert Teder, a member of the Estonian Rescue Service, was among the European Union evaluation team that travelled to Haiti yesterday. The purpose of the team, sent within the framework of the civil protection mechanism, is to evaluate the needs of those who have been injured and co-ordinate the arriving aid. The European Union evaluation team sent to Haiti includes representatives from six nations.

The entire international community has rushed to the aid of Haiti, which is suffering in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake. The best opportunity for Estonia and any Estonian citizens to help alleviate the situation is through co-operation with others. In addition to countries and international organisations, the following organisations have announced the launch of aid operations: the International Red Cross, the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and many other international organisation and non-profits. UNICEF is focusing first and foremost on helping children in Haiti, the IOM is working to offer temporary shelter to thousands of Port-au-Prince residents who have lost their homes, and the Red Cross and WHO and attempting to provide first aid to the injured. They are all in need of funds for procuring medicine, drinking water, tents, or other necessary supplies. In Estonia, donations are being collected by the Estonian Red Cross and the Estonian National Committee for UNICEF.

Estonian Red Cross: SWEDBANK 1180001436 and SEB 10220039608010, subject "Haiti maavärin"

Estonian National Committee for UNICEF: SEB 10052039502009, subject "Haiti"

IOM: http://www.iom.int/jahia/jsp/index.jsp

IFRC: http://donate.ifrc.org/

UNICEF: http://www.supportunicef.org/site/pp.asp?c=9fLEJSOALpE&b=1023561

WFP: https://donate.wfp.org/supporter/donatenow.do?n=gbss&dfdbid=1044253


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