"The aim of the Family Links website is to accelerate the process of restoring contact between separated family members," explained Robert Zimmerman, deputy head of the ICRC's Central Tracing Agency and Protection Division. "At this stage, the website allows people in Haiti and abroad to register the names of relatives with whom they want to restore contact. It will incorporate responses to those queries as they become available."
The website is managed by the ICRC, in cooperation with the tracing services of the Haitian National Red Cross Society and of other National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies throughout the world.
Although the information on the website can be posted by anyone and the ICRC can therefore not take responsibility for the accuracy of all of the content, the Family Links website is nevertheless a crucial tool for families seeking to restore contact with and to clarify the fate of those who have gone missing.
Meanwhile, a plane carrying 11 ICRC staff including two tracing experts has left Geneva and is expected to land in Port-au-Prince later today.
For further information, please contact:
Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17
Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 217 32 24
For general information on restoring family links go to http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/family_links?OpenDocument