Merlin launches emergency earthquake appeal for Haiti

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In the aftermath of a massive earthquake that hit Haiti last night, Merlin has launched an emergency appeal to bring urgent humanitarian aid and assistance to those affected.

Merlin's Response Team Co-ordinator, Paula Sansom said: "This disaster has struck the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and the people of Haiti urgently need our help."

Our response team is currently mobilising and is leaving on the first available flight to Haiti. Their first task will be to assess the most urgent medical needs, likely to be water, sanitation, shelter and disease prevention.

Up to three million people are affected in what the United Nations has described as a catastrophe. A high casualty rate is feared, and unless help is delivered quickly, there is a real risk of an even greater disaster in the weeks and months to come.

"We are particularly concerned about vulnerable people living in the slum areas of the city who are more exposed to disease in the aftermath of the earthquake," says Sansom.

We have set a target of =A3250,000 to cover the cost of our immediate charity response. We are appealing to trusts, foundations, companies and individuals to help us reach our target as quickly as possible and save as many lives as we can.