January 13, 2010
AKRON, Pa. -- Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is responding to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti late Tuesday afternoon.
Today, MCC committed $100,000 U.S. or $103,420 Cdn. for immediate needs. International Program Department Director Ron Flaming anticipates a response of at least $1 million U.S. or $1.03 Cdn. over multiple years. MCC is appealing for donations to fund these efforts.
MCC workers in Haiti include nine people from Colombia, the Netherlands and the United States; seven Haitian program staff members; and additional support staff. All program staff located in Port-au-Prince, the capital, are accounted for. Although the communications infrastructure in Haiti has been disrupted, staff members were able to send a message via the U.S. embassy. All MCC staff members who have been in touch report seeing bodies in the streets, according to Daryl Yoder-Bontrager, MCC Latin America and the Caribbean director. MCC is working to contact staff outside Port-au-Prince.
MCC is planning its response which will include short-term relief plus recovery efforts over the medium and long term. "We're looking carefully at how we can build peace, avoid violence and do good community development at the same time," said Yoder-Bontrager.
MCC regional disaster management coordinators Kathy and Virgil Troyer, based in Honduras, will travel to Haiti as soon as possible to help with the planning and implementation of MCC's response. The Troyers are from Orrville, Ohio.
MCC's work in Haiti over the past years has focused on reforestation and environmental education, human rights and advocacy for food security.
Donations to MCC's response in Haiti are welcome. They should be designated Haiti Earthquake. Donations can be made
* Online at mcc.org
* By telephone toll free - 1-888-622-6337 (Canada) or 1-888-563-4676 (U.S.)
* By mail - MCC and MCC U.S., 21 South 12th Street, Akron, PA 17501 or
MCC Canada, 134 Plaza Drive, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5K9
For more information please contact Ed Nyce 717-859-1151.