Haiti

Haiti earthquake: With an eye to both short and long-term needs, IFRC increases appeal to 100 million Swiss francs

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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has revised and raised its Haiti appeal, and is now calling for 105.7 million Swiss francs (103 million US dollars/73 million euro) to assist 300,000 people for three years.

The appeal, which replaces the 10 million Swiss franc appeal launched on 13 January, maps out the response of the world's largest humanitarian network. It includes a scaled up relief component. In the coming days and week, significant focus, for example, will go towards trying to reduce the risk of waterborne and water-related diseases.

"This revision reflects the need of Haitian communities for long-term and sustained support," said Yasemin Aysan, Under Secretary General, disaster response and early recovery. "For many of these people, this earthquake has robbed them entirely of their limited means. For many of them, they need help to totally rebuild their lives."

Examples of longer-term assistance potentially includes the physical reconstruction of homes and community infrastructure.

Relief operation continues, despite logistical challenges

This announcement comes as vital relief continues to arrive in the devastated city of Port-au-Prince. Yesterday (Friday 15 January), two planes laden with 22 tons of aid land arrived. Today (16 January) a convoy of aid supplies and personnel is travelling from Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) to Haiti.

In the coming days, the IFRC expects to have at least 14 emergency response units (ERUs) on the ground and operational, (for more information on ERUs click here). These will include two full-service 'base camps', designed to provide all necessary logistical and technical support for the initial relief operation.

The base camps will also act as a temporary headquarters for the Haitian National Red Cross Society. The organization's offices were near-destroyed in the earthquake.

"Besides the deployed teams, trained Haitian Red Cross volunteers are also playing a vital role in saving lives, carrying out search and rescue operations in the areas most affected by the earthquake", said Mauricio Bustamante, IFRC Operations Coordinator in Panama. "But every aspect of Haitian society has been impacted in the past days, including civil society.

"Part of our long-term plan is to support the National Red Cross to recover and to become a stronger organization in the months and years to come," said Bustamante.

For more information, including the full appeal, please visit www.ifrc.org/haiti.

For further information, or to set up interviews, please contact:

In Geneva: Matthew Cochrane, Acting, Public Communications Manager: + 41 79 308 98 30

In Panama: Pilar Forcen, communications manager for the IFRC Americas zone, + 507 6672 3170

Manuel Rodriguez, PADRU information officer, + 507 66 79 43 34

The Geneva-based International Federation promotes the humanitarian activities of 186 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies among vulnerable people. By coordinating international disaster relief and encouraging development support, it seeks to prevent and alleviate human suffering. The Federation, National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross together, constitute the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.