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UN appeals for US$ 562 million for humanitarian operation in quake-hit Haiti

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, 15 January 2010 - UNICEF joined the United Nations appeal for US$ 562 (RM 1,978) million to support humanitarian operation in Haiti. Launched today, the appeal seeks to provide resources to help 3.5 million people for the next 6 months. Key among the urgent needs are life-saving supplies of food, water, medicines and shelter.

Given that nearly 50 per cent of Haiti's population is under the age of 18, UNICEF has a particularly critical role to play and is seeking approximately US$ 120 (RM 422) million for its work as part of the humanitarian relief efforts.

Efforts are also underway to unload and deliver UNICEF emergency supplies and equipment that arrived in Port-au-Prince by plane in the early hours of this morning. This first UNICEF shipment included water tanks, water purification tablets and rehydration salts. Clean water and sanitation are amongst the most important emergency relief needs following most emergencies, in particular to protect against the serious health risks posed by diarrheal infections and diseases.

Two more planes loaded with relief are planned for the weekend, carrying some 70 metric tons of tents, tarpaulins, and medicines.

Many of Haiti's public buildings and utilities have been destroyed. There is severe damage to hospitals, schools and the city’s two seaports. This infrastructure damage has resulted in large scale displacement of people from their homes, into makeshift and overcrowded shelters.

Communications systems and infrastructure damaged by the earthquake that hit near Port au Prince on 12 January are slowly being repaired, and precise information about the damage is still not available. According to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) some 3.5 million people are estimated to be in the areas affected by the earthquake and its aftershocks. Thousands are feared dead, many more injured and unknown numbers still buried under the rubble.

UNICEF efforts to assist with life-saving and recovery operations in Haiti will focus on provision of clean water and sanitation, therapeutic food for infants and small children, medical supplies and temporary shelter.

..............................................................................................

Haiti Earthquake 2010
On 12 January 2010, a 7.3 earthquake - the most powerful to hit Haiti in a 100 years - struck shortly before 5 p.m. and was centered about (15 kilometers) southwest of Port-au-Prince. The epicenter was in Carrefour and the affected area is the West Province. The quake was quickly followed by several strong aftershocks from 5.9 to 5.0 magnitude. Initial assessments suggest that at least one in 3 people in Haiti are affected by the disaster.

§ Haiti and her people

§ About the Earthquake

For more information, please contact:

Christopher de Bono
UNICEF Media, New York
Tel + 1 212 303 7984, E-mail: cdebono@unicef.org

Patrick McCormick
UNICEF Media, New York
Tel + 1 212-326-7426, E-mail: pmccormick@unicef.org

 

 

 

 

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