Haiti

'As much assistance to Haiti as possible' - ACT coordinator

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The incoming ACT Alliance coordinator for Haiti has outlined priorities for the huge relief operation she is about to lead.

Elsa Moreno is scheduled to arrive in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, tomorrow. She is to hold the post of Rapid Support Team coordinator of the newly-formed programme which offers ACT members support in overwhelming emergencies.

In an interview just before leaving Denmark, Elsa Moreno said that for the days to come, ACT Alliance would focus on delivering as much assistance as possible to the population in Port-au-Prince but also around the city and to other areas devastated by the earthquake. Some of the towns include those closest to the epicentre, Leogane and Petit Goave. The UN says that 80 to 90 percent of buildings in Leogane, 19km west of Port-au-Prince, were destroyed. Petit Goave, to the west of Leogane, was also badly hit.

Elsa Moreno says ACT Alliance members have found many people have fled Port-au-Price and returned to their places of origin, putting a lot of pressure local communities to host them.

"The ACT Alliance will continuously try to assess the number of people going to those areas which are away from response of other agencies. The main work will focus on water, shelter and care for children."

This was an important time for ACT as a new alliance. The combined ACT International and ACT Development were now working collaboratively to support an emergency.

"It means that from now on we will put together two important components - emergency response and long-term development. The response is not only focused on the immediate needs but also to help people recover in the long term and start the process for development," Elsa Moreno says.

ACT Alliance updates

ACT members in country and those supporting relief efforts are reporting their arrival in Port-au-Prince. A coordination meeting is scheduled for Wednesday in Santo Domingo, where a hub office is proposed. The next scheduled teleconference update of members on the ground or responding directly is Wednesday 1500GMT +1. ACT Alliance will provide members with sitreps every two days, as well as communications updates whenever possible.

The ACT Alliance has five members with offices in Port-au-Prince:

Christian Aid - CA

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe - DKH

Lutheran World Federation - LWF

Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation - ICCO

United Methodist Committee on Relief - UMCOR

Nine other members are supporting the relief operation:

Norwegian Church Aid - NCA

DanChurchAid - DCA

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance - PDA

Finnchurchaid - FCA

Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicana - SSID

Church World Service - CWS

Lutheran World Relief - LWR

Church of Sweden - CoS

International Orthodox Church Charities - IOCC

For more information please contact:

Tomm Kristiansen

ACT Alliance communications officer

tkr@actalliance.org

0041 22 791 6039 (landline)

0041 79 358 3171 (mobile)

Sandra Cox

ACT Alliance assistant communications officer

sec@actalliance.org

0041 22 791 6711 (landline)

0041 79 681 1868 (mobile)