Haitians rebuild but remain vulnerable to natural disasters



    MONTREAL, Oct. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Over 40 days after four tropical storms
hit Haiti in quick succession, the country is struggling to get back on its
feet. In early September, high winds and accompanying flooding led to
700 deaths and left 800,000 in need of emergency assistance, according to the
latest estimates.
    In response to the crisis, DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE has committed $ 270,000
to three projects in the badly affected Gonaives region and in other areas.
The projects, implemented through DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE partners Papaye
Peasants' Movement, Famn Deside and Caritas Haiti, will help at least
35,000 Haitians. They will concentrate on emergency aid distribution as well
as on long-term reconstruction, particularly in order to boost agricultural
production.
    During the storms, 60-80% of the country's farm crops were destroyed,
leading to fears of wide-spread famine in the coming months. Haiti is
particularly vulnerable to tropical storms because of high levels of poverty,
deforestation and reliance on the agricultural sector.
    "Haitians are dealing with the situation as best they can, but the
country needs more international support," warns Anne Catherine Kennedy,
Programme Officer for Haiti at DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE.
    "After Hurricane Jeanne in 2004, nothing was done to solve the country's
environmental crisis, and four years later, the same thing is happening again.
If the international community does nothing to address Haiti's vulnerability
to natural disasters, this situation will keep repeating itself."
    Those wishing to contribute to emergency relief and reconstruction in
Haiti are invited to call toll free at: 1 888 664-3387 or visit DEVELOPMENT
AND PEACE's website at: www.devp.org. Cheques labelled "Haiti" can be sent to
1425 René Lévesque O. 3rd floor, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1T7.

    DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE's program officer for Haiti is available for
interviews in English and in French.




For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Eleonore Fournier-Tombs, (514)
257-8711 ext. 307, eleonore.fournier@devp.org


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