OTTAWA, July 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Amid immense challenges, the Red Cross continues to provide urgently needed support for families in Haiti, six months after an earthquake devastated millions. It is the largest single-country response in the history of the Red Cross.
"The Red Cross response began moments after the earthquake struck as Haitian Red Cross volunteers supported search and rescue efforts and provided first aid," says Conrad Sauvé, secretary general of the Canadian Red Cross. "Thanks to the generosity of donors, including many from Canada, global Red Cross efforts continue today."
Over 11,000 tonnes of Red Cross aid has arrived in Haiti and over 896,000 people have received relief items. Over 135,000 people have received medical care from the Red Cross and millions of litres of water have been produced and distributed. The Red Cross and 70 other organizations have provided emergency shelter to over 1.9 million people.
As the Red Cross begins to move into the reconstruction phase of its response, it faces immense challenges in the areas of shelter, water and sanitation and health.
"Despite several obstacles, we have begun to build hurricane and earthquake resistant shelters in Haiti," says Sauvé. "Removing the rubble left behind by this disaster, reaching remote areas with building materials, and obtaining permissions to build from landowners remain our main challenges to providing sturdy shelter for families."
Rubble removal is an enormous task that is expected to take years to complete. In addition, nearly 70-80 per cent of Haitians do not own land, so landowners must be identified and permissions granted to build.
"Land issues were apparent early on in this disaster so we created shelters that address these issues," says Sauvé. "Shelters arrive in communities partially pre-assembled decreasing the amount of time they take to build and are also able to be taken apart, moved, and rebuilt should families need to relocate for any reason."
The Canadian Red Cross is committed to supporting communities in Haiti to recover and rebuild in the months and years ahead. Donations made to the Haiti earthquake fund will go towards emergency and recovery efforts and longer-term development needs.
The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which includes the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Cross Societies that operate in over 185 countries. Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.
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SOURCE Canadian Red Cross
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