Haiti

Save the Children Launches Emergency Relief Effort to Assist Children and Families in Haiti

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WESTPORT, Conn., (Jan.13, 2010) - Save the Children has begun to assess needs and damage as the agency begins to assist children and families affected by the devastating earthquakes of Tuesday, January 12.

The agency, with offices in Port-au-Prince, is sending teams out this morning by motorbike in Port-au-Prince and is flying in additional staff to help support the emergency response.

The devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake and many aftershocks flattened homes and landmarks in the capital city and damaged Save the Children's office, according to Ian Rodgers, the agency's emergency response adviser, who is currently in Haiti.

"We could hear buildings still crumbling down five hours after the earthquake," he said. "This is a significant disaster. We are seeing at least 40 percent destruction and up to 70 percent damage to buildings in the neighborhood where our office stands. Debris fills the roads and emergency responders are having a difficult time reaching the wounded. The survivors, especially the children, are going to need a lot of support for weeks and months to come."

As it has done in recent disasters in Haiti, Save the Children is preparing to provide immediate lifesaving assistance, such as food, water, shelter and child-friendly spaces. It has verified the safety of all but 16 staff members in its main office.

Save the Children, which has been working in Haiti since 1985, has provided emergency relief and assistance to Haitian children and families following various recent disasters, including hurricanes and floods.