Samaritan's Purse on the ground in Haiti

Christian relief organization providing water, shelter, medical and other help to Haitians

CALGARY, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - The Samaritan's Purse Disaster Assistance Relief Team has been working around the clock to bring relief to the people of Haiti since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the island nation on Jan. 12, leaving tens of thousands dead, and hundreds of thousands homeless.

"The damage is staggering in a nation where three out of four people live on less than $2 a day," Samaritan's Purse International President Franklin Graham said. "The people of Haiti need our help like never before. It is desperate. We pray for the people of Haiti, that God would comfort those that have lost so much."

Samaritan's Purse medical personnel have been caring for earthquake victims through the Baptist Haiti Mission Hospital, the only hospital still standing in or near Port au Prince. The 17-member medical team, including Canadian Dr. Kara Gibson, is performing more than 50 operations per day in the hospital's two operating rooms. Samaritan's Purse has also given the hospital a community water filter, medical supplies and diesel fuel, which is vital for the hospital's generators.

Samaritan's Purse is also distributing aid to families and individuals, through the extensive network of pastors in Haiti who help distribute Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes each year. More than 300 families per day are receiving emergency supplies including hygiene kits, plastic for temporary shelters, blankets, solar flashlights, and other non-food items.

During the next few days, the number of Samaritan's Purse staff on the ground in Haiti will grow to almost 75, including water engineers and more medical personnel. As many as 20 more of Samaritan's Purse's community water filters will also arrive in Haiti, and so will a barge loaded with heavy equipment including three excavators, two dump trucks, bulldozers, vans, wood, tools, and 5,000 rolls of additional shelter plastic.

"The response from Canadians has been incredible, but so is the desperate need of the Haitian people," said Fred Weiss, Executive Director of Samaritan's Purse Canada. "We will continue to work with the people of Haiti to help rebuild their country and to provide them with hope in a seemingly hopeless situation."

Donations Needed

To support Samaritan's Purse in this urgent relief and recovery work, please call 1-800-663-6500 or visit www.samaritanspurse.ca.

About Samaritan's Purse Canada

Samaritan's Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and development organization working in about 70 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. The Calgary-based charity also operates the well-known Operation Christmas Child program that sends gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children around the world each year, and the Turn on the Tap initiative that raises funds for life-saving BioSand Water Filters in the developing world. Go to www.samaritanspurse.ca for more information.

SOURCE Samaritan's Purse Canada

For further information: For further information: Media Inquiries: Martin Silbernagel, Communications Advisor, Samaritan's Purse Canada, 1-800-663-6500 or (403) 708-9667, msilbernagel@samaritan.ca


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