CECI and its partners begin to provide assistance - Phase one: distribution

MONTREAL, Jan. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - On the third day following the catastrophe that has struck Haiti, in a region where despair is setting in for victims and aid is difficult to provide, CECI and its partners are ready to implement phase one of humanitarian aid.

Given our broad past experience in humanitarian aid, CECI reserves were full in another region. One of our partners in the field, the Office de développement agricole, sent these food supplies to Port-au-Prince. CECI works very closely with Haitian Civil Protection and by relying on solid and direct ties with main local leaders, neighbourhood committees and community organizations, CECI has been able to organize the distribution of its reserves and can now ensure that operations be carried out without a hitch.

Phase two: in progress

First of all, we are planning to send hygiene and critical situation kits containing medication to the Haitian capital through a partner in the Dominican Republic in the next few hours.

Following this, a portion of the generous donations from the public will be used by our Quebec partner, the International Cooperation Center for Health and Development (the CCISD), to provide healthcare and shelter. This team is already in place in the Artibonite region and is preparing camps for displaced persons in St-Marc to accommodate refugees from Port-au-Prince.

Assistance: just the beginning

NGO coordination under the orders of Haitian Civil Protection-whose offices crumbled during the earthquake-are now working out of CECI offices that we made available to them. CECI is, now more than ever, at the centre of humanitarian operations.

Emergency aid to Haitian victims will continue to be provided over the next few months and we ask that the population remain engaged. The fundraising goal is a minimum of $5 million. Once the Canadian Government doubles this amount, as it said it would, $10 million will be used to deploy CECI-led humanitarian aid. The breadth of the catastrophe is such that each additional dollar donated to CECI will be used wisely.

It is important to remember that CECI, who has been working for more than 40 years and is active as soon as a catastrophe takes place, will continue to be there after the immediate emergency has past, and will begin reconstruction and rehabilitation with the population.

Our emergency relief experts in the field, and our CECI spokesperson, Luck Mervil, are available for interview. Communication has been re-established with Port-au-Prince, even though certain difficulties persist.

We would like to thank all the generous donors and invite the population to remain engaged and continue to support the work undertaken by CECI and its partners in assisting the Haitian people! Victims of this disaster can count on close to $1,000,000.

On-line donations are accepted at the following Web site: www.ceci.ca

Donations can be made by phone by calling the following toll-free number: 1 877 875-2324 or by mail to the following address: CECI (Haiti Earthquake SOS), 3000 rue Omer-Lavallée, Montréal (QC) H1Y 3R8.

SOURCE Center for International Studies and Cooperation

For further information: For further information: CECI Interviews: Myriam Fehmiu, Communications Advisor, (514) 574-7195; Carine Guidicelli, Communications and Fundraising, Director, (514) 572-3558; Luck Mervil Interviews: Carlos A. Godoy L., Press Secretary, (514) 703-4208

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Center for International Studies and Cooperation

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