Haiti

Haiti earthquake: Red Cross launches appeal to support relief and recovery efforts (14/01/10)

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Australian Red Cross has launched an appeal to support the Haitian communities devastated by yesterday's earthquake.

The earthquake, which registered 7.3 on the Richter scale, has left thousands dead and up to three million injured, homeless or increasingly vulnerable.

Donna McSkimming, Head of International Program, said money raised by the Appeal will support emergency relief, rehabilitation and recovery activities for communities affected by the disaster. 'The impact on the Haitian community has been severe and we are doing as much as we can to support the relief efforts that were launched yesterday,' Ms McSkimming said.

'Local and international Red Cross personnel are already on the ground assisting search and rescue, providing medical assistance as well as immediate relief items and assessing on-going needs.'

'International Red Cross emergency response units specialising in relief coordination, water and sanitation, shelter, telecommunications and health are expected to arrive in the next few days to provide further support for the emergency operation,' she said.

'The biggest priority for Red Cross is to ensure that people are safe and that their basic needs are being met. The best way Australians can assist us to do that is by contributing to the Appeal fund, and in doing so, directly help the Haitian people as they come to terms with this major disaster.'

'Red Cross has already received a flood of calls from people wanting to make donations to help the Haitian community. Australians have always given generously in times of crisis and we would like to thank them for enabling us to provide support and relief where it is needed most.'

How to donate (donations are tax deductable):

Visit www.redcross.org.au to make a secure online donation,

or

Make a donation via credit card by phoning 1800 811 700,

or

Send a cheque or money order with a note indicating the donation is to the Haiti Earthquake 2010 Appeal to:

Australian Red Cross Supporter Services PO Box 2957,

Melbourne, Vic 8060

Note: Australian Red Cross will not deduct more than 10% of any donation for an international appeal to cover appeal costs. Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer term needs of the people of the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct the excess funds to other emergency preparedness and response initiatives in the region. Any interest earned on donations will be directed back into the appeal.

Media Enquiries: Jacquie Pringle 0448 571 484