Haiti

Support from Finland for earthquake victims in Haiti

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Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen has decided to grant 1,250,000 euros in humanitarian assistance to the earthquake victims in Haiti. Of this sum, 750,000 euros will be channelled through the Finnish Red Cross, for use to finance a field hospital that will be sent to Haiti. The sum of 500,000 euros is granted to support the rescue operations of Finn Church Aid. Both assistance grants correspond to the organisations' own proposals.

Finn Church Aid is sending Finnish aid workers to Haiti and is supplying water and food aid. The field hospital being sent by the Finnish Red Cross is urgently needed, as the strong earthquake that took place on Tuesday, 12 January destroyed the hospital in Port au Prince, the capital, and treatment of the injured calls for immediate action.

Delivery of emergency aid to Haiti has already begun even though assessment of the need for humanitarian assistance is still underway. The need for aid is thought to be great, and it will have to be delivered in difficult conditions. The earthquake destroyed the UN building in Port au Prince and 14 UN employees lost their life, which makes it difficult to start assistance activities.

Finland is prepared to give additional humanitarian assistance once more information is available about the damage caused by the earthquake and the need for assistance has been determined.

Additional information: Ulla-Maija Finskas, Head of the Unit for Humanitarian Assistance, tel. +358 9 1605 6225 or mobile tel. +358 400 431 921, and Päivi Nevala, Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, tel. +358 9 160 56171 or mobile tel. +358 40 753 4375