Lutheran World Relief and Partners Rushing Life-Saving Aid to Haitian Quake Victims

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Baltimore, January 16, 2010 - Lutheran World Relief and its partners on the ground are rushing to provide water, water purification supplies, food, and shelter items to victims of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12.

"At this point, water is a critical need on the ground. People have been without access to water for days in warm temperatures. Delivering clean water will help save lives in Haiti," says LWR president John Nunes.

There are 100,000 people estimated dead following the devastating quake, with millions more affected. The quake hit 10 miles from the capital city of Port-au-Prince, toppling buildings, destroying roads and ports, and leaving most residents homeless. A 4.5 magnitude aftershock today raised fears of further damage to already unstable buildings.

LWR has pledged $1 million to overall relief work in Haiti, and anticipates increasing that commitment as partners work to assess needs on the ground. LWR will send an initial $150,000 to the Lutheran World Federation immediately, to deliver water containers and purification materials, as well as temporary shelter items. LWR is also coordinating with 400 people on the ground through partnerships with Catholic Relief Services, local partners in Haiti, and other international faith-based organizations.

"Getting aid into Haiti has been challenging. We've been asking LWR supporters to please send cash so that we can quickly get aid in," adds Trevor Knoblich, LWR's Program Coordinator for Emergency Response.

LWR is also preparing a shipment of layettes and health kits estimated to depart for Haiti on January 19 or 20.

LWR is accepting donations to the "Haiti Earthquake Fund" on its website, www.lwr.org/Haiti, by phone at 800-LWR-LWR-2 and by mail at P.O. Box 17061, Baltimore, MD 21298-9832. Members of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans can get their gifts to LWR matched. Thrivent is giving $1 for every $2 donated. For more information or to have your gift matched, visit www.lwr.org/Haiti.

LWR has also launched a new "text-to-give" service, allowing supporters to quickly and easily text contributions to be billed to their monthly cell phone account. To give, text the keyword "LWR" to 40579 to donate $10. Remember to reply YES to the confirmation. Standard messaging and data rates may apply.


Editors: When listing organizations receiving donations for aid to survivors of major disasters outside the United States, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, please include: Lutheran World Relief, www.lwr.org, 1-800-597-5972

For more information contact Emily Sollie at esollie@lwr.org or 410-230-2802.