"It was dark as we made our approach into Port-au-Prince. The Haitian aircraft controls had closed the airport to all aircrafts but made an exception for us to land. There was the normal scattering of individual lights from the houses on the hills leading into the capital and an occasional car's headlights on the roads. Mostly things seemed normal for a developing country at that time early in the morning. As we got closer, however, the extent of the damage became clear. There were concrete structures that were completely flattened and houses that were piles of rubble.
"We landed and I found a UN security officer who was transporting a small number of relief workers to the UN logistics office. He said many of his colleagues were missing and may have been killed. He seemed in a mild state of shock. There is no cell phone communication but he said they have satellite and internet. He seemed so happy to meet someone from the UN family that had come to help."
UN Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth said, "It is clear from these reports there is an urgent need for people everywhere to support the UN's efforts in Haiti. Donations today will have an impact on the lives of thousands of Haitians in the days and weeks to come."
To read more and to donate to the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund, visit: www.unfoundation.org/haiti.
Note to the editor:
Immediately after the quake, the CERF dispersed $10 million for urgent Haiti relief efforts and the UN Foundation contributed $1 million. Humanitarian agencies faced with a sudden disaster often struggle to find resources to start life-saving operations. The time between an appeal for assistance and disbursement of funds can be long. This delay costs lives. The CERF fills this critical gap in responding to immediate needs, allocating funds within days of an emergency to kick-start relief efforts.
Dr. Carucci is a medical doctor and practiced medicine with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps as an active duty Navy physician and Flight Surgeon. For a full bio, visit http://www.unfoundation.org/about-unf/our-leadership/daniel-carucci.html.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner's historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world's most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns we conduct reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.
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