Haiti earthquake: South African Red Cross launches emergency appeal

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Pretoria - The South African Red Cross Society (SARCS) , a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is today launching a R30m emergency appeal in support of international efforts to assist those affected by the earthquake in Haiti.

The SARCS appeal to contribute to the Red Cross global emergency appeal, which is seeking 10 million US dollars/75 million rands, in order to deliver assistance, initially, to 20,000 families affected by the devastating earthquake.

The earthquake, which reached 7.3 on the Richter scale, has primarily affected the cities of Port-au-Prince, Carrefour and Jacmel, all located in the West Province area which has an estimated population of 2.2 million.

"We are also appealing in response to the numerous offers of assistance that we have received from South Africans who have been moved to help alleviate the plight of the tens of thousands of Haitians affected by this tragedy," said Ms. Mandisa Kalako-Williams, the Secretary General of SARCS " .

"We are guided by the needs identified by our International Federation, based on assessments in Haiti, in cooperation with the Haitian Red Cross Society, hence we insist only on financial donations, as the most logical and logistically practical relief item under the circumstances" explained Ms. Kalako-Williams.

The International Federation has deployed a Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) to assess emergency and early recovery needs, including the restoration of livelihoods and permanent shelter. The team is composed of experts in logistics, emergency health, shelter, telecommunications, reporting and communication.

Emergency Response Units (ERU) specialized in relief coordination, water and sanitation, shelter, telecommunications and health are also expected in the next few days, to provide much-needed support for the emergency operation, including the deployment of a field hospital with a capacity of attending to 50 patients at a time.

Companies, organisations and individuals wishing to donate funds towards this local emergency appeal, please use the following bank account of The South African Red Cross Society:

Bank: Standard Bank

Account Name: The South African Red Cross Society

Account number: 070 822 808

Branch: Thibault Square

Code: 020 - 909