HAITI CARE provides emergency relief

GENEVA (October 13, 2008) – Since being hit by four successive tropical storms, particulaly Hanna and Ike in September 2008, Haiti has been grappling with the damages caused by these hurricanes in cities like Gonaives.

Ike reached the North coast of Hispaniola on Sunday September 7th, provoking new damages and flooding in various parts of the country. The city of Gonaives was flooded again, after being severely affected by Hanna. Access by land to the city was cut off, due to the collapse of several bridges along the only road to Gonaives. Other cities, such as Jean Rabel in the Northwest department and Cabaret, located 50 km north of Port-au-Prince were also severely hit.

According to UN and Haitan sources, 655,000 people have been affected, of whom 111,000 still live in temporary shelters. More than 300 people have died.

CARE is working with local authorities, international and local partner agencies, to organize a coordinated response. An urgent priority is to provide safe water supplies to residents, to avoid the risk of a secondary disaster caused by water-borne illnesses. CARE is also working to bring emergency food supplies, including high-energy biscuits, to affected communities. ”Our priority is always to reach the most vulnerable people, including women, children, and people living with HIV and AIDS”.

CARE has been designated by WFP as a lead agency for food distribution in Gonaives. As such, CARE has distributed 637 metric tons of water, biscuits, canned fish, hygiene kits, and dry food rations to nearly 100,000 persons.

“We will maintain our commitment over the longer term as Haitians rebuild their communities and livelihoods” , says CARE's representative.

In order to sustain emergency relief operations in the near future, the United Nations launched a flash appeal for $89 million; CARE-Haiti is included in the food, water, shelter and education sectors.

Read about the work of CARE's disaster-relief team in Gonaives.

Contact: Rick Perera, +1 404 979 9453, mobile: +1 404 457 4649, [email protected]

CARE began working in Haiti in 1954, providing relief assistance to people affected by Hurricane Hazel. Today, CARE’s work in Haiti reflects an integrated approach to programming with projects in HIV/AIDS, maternal and children’s health, education, food security, water and sanitation, and civil society and governance. CARE Haiti is implementing activities in some of the most vulnerable regions including the Grande Anse, Nippes, Artibonite, and Northwest departments. CARE Haiti works closely with local NGOs, the Government of Haiti at all levels, private companies, and community organizations to build local capacity and achieve sustainable development.