World Vision prepares for hurricane season amid earthquake recovery

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 5 /CNW/ - As hurricane season approaches earthquake-ravaged Haiti, World Vision is moving to provide shelter for children and families in Port-au-Prince.

In the short term, World Vision is distributing tarps and emergency shelters to 40,000 households in Port-au-Prince. The organization and its partners will also work, with community participation, to build 5,000 framed longer term transitional shelters.

With hurricane season in the region beginning next month, the pressure is on to make sure even emergency and temporary shelter is available.

"We were already bracing for hurricane season, before the earthquake happened," says World Vision President and CEO Dave Toycen. "We distributed much of our pre-positioned hurricane supplies, including temporary shelter and food, in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. Now we're racing against the clock to distribute even more emergency shelters to even more families. With so many people homeless and on the streets, we don't want to see an already difficult situation become even worse."

Meanwhile, food distribution in Haiti continues:

    
    -   World Vision is working with the World Food Program and eight relief
        agencies to provide food to 1.6 million people.
    -   World Vision's own distributions in Port-au-Prince will benefit an
        estimated 400,000 in the coming weeks.
    

World Vision is especially concerned about the health of young children and pregnant women. With expectant mothers unable to deliver in local hospitals due to quake damage and overcrowding, World Vision is now distributing maternity kits to pregnant women. These kits, provided by the UN, include tools to ensure babies are born safely. World Vision's larger health response plan also includes equipping mobile health clinics and hospitals with supplies, and also offering health and nutrition education.

World Vision has established four child-friendly spaces in Port-au-Prince to assist children to deal with the emergency and give them a secure space to learn and play.

"Access to shelter and food, assistance for pregnant women, protection of children-these are basic human needs and rights. It's important that we restore these things back to the lives of Haitians," said Toycen. "We have so much to do and the need is great. But the Haitian people are resilient and strong. They will overcome this tragedy. There is hope."

    
    -   World Vision donors support more than 52,000 children in Haiti,
        including more than 10,800 children supported by Canadians.
    -   World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy
        organization dedicated to working with children, families and
        communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves
        all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For
        more information or to donate to the Haiti relief effort, please
        visit WorldVision.ca.
    

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: For further information: To interview World Vision staff or for more information or visuals, please contact: Britt Hamilton, (905) 565-6200 ext 3973, (416) 419-1321 (cell), britt_hamilton@worldvision.ca


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