Haiti earthquake disaster: we receive a high level of calls from worried child sponsors

ActionAid has been inundated with calls and emails from child sponsors desperately worried about the welfare of the children they sponsor.

Over 3,600 children are currently sponsored in Haiti through ActionAid. Many sponsors are extremely concerned about the whereabouts and well-being of children and their families.

ActionAid is currently in communication with its team in Haiti who are organising the first stages of an emergency response to the disaster.

Emergency specialists are on their way to Haiti to deliver food, shelter, blankets, soap and other items. ActionAid will also be providing counselling and support to Haitians who lost loved ones in the earthquake.

ActionAid is, of course, also focusing its efforts on finding out as much as we possibly can about all of the children sponsored. So far, we have had reports that around 1,500 are probably safe, although 2,000 are still to be accounted for.

Richard Turner, ActionAid UK's Fundraising Director said: "The earthquake has been a complete tragedy for Haiti. Time is running out for those trapped and we just hope that all the children under ActionAid's care are safe and well. But we can't as yet confirm that. Roads are impassable, phone lines are down and communications are almost impossible.

"Now if ever is the time to reach out and help, both through donations to the UK national appeal run by the Disasters Emergency Committee and in the long term though agencies working in the field."

Child sponsorship has already transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and is one of the most rewarding ways of assisting families in the developing world.

Sponsors' money helps towards securing a decent education, better health care and economic security for children and the communities in which they live.

Until the situation stabilises, ActionAid cannot take on new sponsors in Haiti but would welcome expressions of interest.

To find out more go to our child sponsorship pages or phone 01460 23 8080.