Haiti

Oxfam team in place for Haiti earthquake response

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PORT-AU-PRINCE - Following a major earthquake near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, international aid agency Oxfam announced that its teams are ready to respond.

Oxfam's emergency team based in the capital will be responding with public health, water and sanitation services to prevent the spread of waterborne disease.

"The first step in an emergency will be getting clean water to people who need it as we know from experience that shocks like this disrupt water lines, and transportation is completely broken down," said Michael Delaney, director of Oxfam America's humanitarian response department.

The agency announced that as soon as assessment teams have a fuller understanding of the emergency needs Haitians across the region face, Oxfam will work urgently to meet them now and in the coming days.

"As we've seen time and again, in emergencies the poor are hit the hardest," said Delaney. "Given the severity of this earthquake and the poverty of the country, our response will be long term."

Kristie van de Wetering, a former Oxfam employee still based in Port-au-Prince described the situation as "very chaotic with houses in rubbles everywhere. There is a blanket of dust rising from the valley south of the capital. We can hear people calling for help from every corner. The aftershocks are ongoing and making people very nervous."

To support Oxfam's response in Haiti, please donate to the Haiti Earthquake Response Fund.

For more information, contact:

Liz Lucas, Press Officer

(617) 728-2575 (office)

(617) 728-2562 (mobile)

llucas@oxfamamerica.org