Jan 13 (Reuters) - A major earthquake has hit impoverished Haiti, killing possibly thousands of people as it toppled the presidential palace and hillside shanties alike and left the Caribbean nation appealing for international help.
Following are some of the efforts by foreign governments and aid agencies to help:
UNITED STATES - The U.S. military is sending a ground assessment team and one of its P3 aircraft has been doing aerial reconnaissance, a Pentagon spokesman said. U.S. Navy ships at bases along the East Coast have been told to be prepared to leave for Haiti and the United States could also begin using C-130 aircraft to fly supplies to Haiti later on Wednesday.
UNITED NATIONS - is immediately releasing $10 million from its central emergency response fund, and mobilizing an emergency response team -- expected to be on the ground shortly -- to help coordinate aid efforts. U.N. aid officials expect to issue an international appeal for funds and other assistance in the next few days, once needs have been assessed.
U.N. World Food Program head Josette Sheeran said the agency was already flying in additional food that would provide more than 500,000 emergency meals. The children's agency UNICEF is dispatching two planes and a ship laden with tents, as well as food and other supplies designed for women and children.
EUROPEAN UNION - The EU's executive European Commission approved 3 million euros ($4.37 million) of fast-track funding for the international effort and could pledge more in coming days, a spokeswoman said.
Countries including Belgium, Sweden and Luxembourg had offered assistance via an EU emergency assistance coordination mechanism, with offers ranging from a water purification unit to tents
FRANCE - is sending two airplanes and a field hospital as well as rescue services, said Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.
NETHERLANDS - The Foreign Ministry said it would send an urban search and rescue team to Haiti, consisting of 60 people as well as sniffer dogs, to help find people hidden under the rubble. It said the team is part of a coordinationed international rescue action led by the U.N.
CANADA - The government announced it would initially make up to C$5 million ($4.8 million) to help provide emergency shelter, medical services, food, relief items, water and sanitation services. A 20-person reconnaissance team is going to see what aid is needed, and two rescue helicopters could be sent.
GERMAN - is sending 1 million euros ($1.45 million) in immediate aid, said Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
ICELAND - sent a search and rescue team of 37 specialists.
BRITAIN - a four-person field assessment team is en route to Port-Au-Prince to determine priorities for urgent assistance and Britain also sending a search and rescue team of 64 people with dogs and heavy rescue equipment.
INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK - The Inter-American Development Bank said it would provide $200,000 in immediate aid. The World Bank planned to send a team to help assess damage and plan a recovery.
Many aid agencies were scrambling to provide help. Efforts included:
- Around 600 injured people are being treated at hospitals of Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), the aid group said on Wednesday.
- Telecoms Sans Frontieres, a humanitarian group that helps set up communications during disasters, deployed an emergency team from Managua to provide vital support in emergency telecommunications. They are carrying satellite mobile and fixed telecommunications tools. (Reporting by Reuters bureaux, Compiled by Alan Elsner and Frances Kerry)
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