Singapore Red Cross Assists IFRC in channeling donations for relief in Haiti

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On 12 January 2010, a catastrophic 7.3 earthquake hit west of Port-au-prince and Jacmel in Haiti, at 16.53 local time. According to sources, an estimated three million people have been affected and 70,000 bodies are trapped under the rubble, with up to 200, 000 dead.

Several aftershocks followed and major landmarks were damaged. Hospitals were destroyed as a result of the aftermath.

The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has deployed a Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) to assess emergency and early recovery needs, including the restoration of livelihoods and permanent shelter. The team is composed of experts in logistics, emergency health, shelter, telecommunications, reporting and communication.

Emergency Response Units (ERU) specialised in relief coordination, water and sanitation, shelter, telecommunications and health are also expected in the next few days to provide much-needed support for the emergency operation - including the deployment of a field hospital with a capacity of attending to 50 patients at a time.

Red Cross volunteers in Haiti are currently assisting the injured and supporting hospitals, which do not have sufficient capacity to deal with this emergency.

The most urgent needs at this time are search and rescue, field hospitals, emergency healthcare, water purification, emergency shelter, logistics and telecommunications.

The IFRC has pre-positioned relief supplies for 3,000 families in Haiti. In Port-au-Prince there are enough pre-positioned supplies for 500 families. These emergency supplies consist of kitchen kits, personal hygiene kits, blankets and containers for storing drinking water.

The IFRC has launched a global emergency appeal fund to help survivors of the earthquake in Haiti. The IFRC also seeks to raise at least 10 million Swiss Francs

(US$10 million/€6.8 million), part of which will be used provide initial aid to 20,000 families affected by disaster. The IFRC have already released 500,000 Swiss Francs in the emergency fund to support its relief operations.

"The funds from this appeal will support vital relief operations and will focus on temporary shelter, restoring water and sanitation facilities and providing medical care as well as psychological support to the affected population", said Mauricio Bustamante, IFRC Operations Coordinator in Panama

Singapore Red Cross (SRC) will be extending its opening hours to receive donations for survivors of the Haiti Earthquake. As part of the global effort to raise funds for the survivors of the earthquake, the SRC will assist to channel the funds collected to (IFRC) who is spearheading the relief operations in Haiti.

SRC at 15 Penang Lane will be opened from 9am to 9pm from Mondays to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Donations can be made through the following:

1) Cheque donations

Donations via cheque can be sent to the Singapore Red Cross @ 15 Penang Lane, Singapore 238486. Please include name, contact details and "Earthquake Haiti" at the back of the cheque.

2) Walk-in donations

Donors may make their cash/cheque donations at the Singapore Red Cross @ 15 Penang Lane (near Dhoby Gaut MRT Station) during its office hours, Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 9pm and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

The SRC wishes to thank all individuals and corporates who have helped to contribute towards the IFRC global appeal fund. To date, the SRC have received SGD58,000 and the money will be used to support its relief operations, primarily in temporary shelter, restoring water and sanitation facilities and providing medical care as well as psychological support to the affected population.