Haiti

Welthungerhilfe distributes drinking water in Haiti - security situation "astonishingly calm"

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(18.1.2010) Today, Welthungerhilfe is starting the distribution of potable water for the victims of the earthquake. Local police will provide security for the operation. The tanker lorry will be going to Saint Pierre square in the Petionville district of the city. Several hundred people who have lost their home are camping out there. "They are sitting there squashed together and have their remaining belongings with them", says Michael K=FChn, Welthungerhilfe's Regional Director in Haiti.

Welthungerhilfe employees on the spot don't have the impression that the situation in Haiti is marked by violence. "The security situation is astonishingly calm, there are only very isolated incidents of looting", says K=FChn. "People are still traumatised. They describe the suffering they have endured with an alarming lack of emotion. Nonetheless, the people of Haiti want to pitch in, and they are doing everything they can to get themselves and others out of this calamitous situation. But this can't be done without external aid."

Welthungerhilfe employees in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic are currently making up food and other aid goods, such as cooking utensils, sanitary articles, blankets and tarpaulins, into family-sized packages so as to speed up their distribution. The lorries will set off tomorrow. There will be a humanitarian corridor between the Dominican Republic and Haiti where customs formalities will be waived.

It's still difficult to get access to the areas to the west and south of Port-au-Prince which were right at the epicentre, or to obtain any information about them. That's where Welthungerhilfe wants to concentrate its aid. Even outside Port-au-Prince, which is a metropolis with a population of millions, the region is densely populated, with about 500 people per square kilometre. It must be feared that there has also been a high death toll there, and that there is considerable physical damage.

Please send your donation for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti to:

Welthungerhilfe

Account number 1115

Sparkasse KölnBonn

Sort code 370 501 98

Reference: Haiti emergency relief