IFRC and Philippine Red Cross restore family links severed by Haiti Earthquake

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Last Wednesday, January 13, 2010, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti experienced a catastrophic 7.0-magnitude tremor earthquake, which left thousands dead and a myriad of infrastructures in rubbles.

As a response to this cataclysm, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) plan to focus on providing medical aid for survivors of the earthquake and support for efforts to recover and identify the dead.

Restoring Family Links program is also undertaken, aiming to restore contacts between family members separated because of the earthquake and its aftermath. All of these activities will be carried out in close cooperation and coordination of the Haitian Red Cross and the International Federation.

In relation to IFRC and ICRC efforts, the Philippine Red Cross also conducts a localized version of restoring family links, which strives to aid Filipino family members in locating and regaining contact with their kin in Haiti.

Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang urges family members and loved ones to coordinate with the Philippine Red Cross for updates and possible tracing.

The Operation Center, located at the National Headquarters in Manila, can be reached at the following numbers: 143, 527-00-00; 524-57-87; 666-50-34 and 994-05-03.

The following information will be needed to facilitate the tracing and restoration of family links: name, age, last known address in Haiti, contact numbers, name of employer/agency and other identifying data.

The Philippine Red Cross Social Services will register the above information and refer them to the ICRC Tracing Agency, which will provide responses as data become available.

"More than the loss of a home or possessions, that of a loved-one is most distressing and tormenting," says Philippine Red Cross Chairman Senator Richard Gordon.

He added that the best kind of relief the organization can offer is the restoration of a companion, which would certainly ease a family member in such predicament as the earthquake.