MONTREAL, Jan. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - 8:00 a.m. - "It's incredible, the city is devastated, the people are facing indescribable risks!" cries out Philippe Fehmiu of Port au Prince. The 1.5 million homeless, equivalent to 1/3 the population of Montréal, are hungry and thirsty; supplies, particularly food and water, are scarce, the need is urgent, impatience is gaining the upper hand. People are looking for the bodies of their loved ones, in order to honour the dead.
The CECI has distributed the five tonnes of family kits that were received Saturday afternoon, and the teams are continuing to distribute water and high energy biscuits at four locations in the city. Everything is proceeding calmly. Community leaders are emerging in some neighbourhoods and collaborating with the CECI teams, a testimonial to the ongoing work that the CECI has been carrying out in the country over the past 40 years.
Even though all the NGOs are working very hard, and help is arriving at the crowded airport, thousands of people are left to their own devices. Tents and shelters are needed before the rainy season starts. Additional air convoys organized by the CECI are expected shortly.
Crowds of people are leaving Port au Prince, heading northwards and to St-Marc. Left with nothing, they are seeking food and water. A camp for displaced persons is in the process of being organized. The Paul Gérin Lajoie Foundation has joined forces with the CECI and has made its facilities and its staff available to support the refugees. The Foundation's centre can provide shelter for over 1000 people. In addition, the medical team organized jointly by the CECI and the CCISD (Centre de coopération international en santé et développement de Québec - Centre for international cooperation in healthcare and development) is at work, assisted by a team of Japanese doctors and nurses who have also joined forces with the CECI. Support is flowing from all around to join the ranks of the CECI Haiti team and provide assistance to those in need.
Haiti's Civil Protection Office has put the CECI in charge of receiving the air cargo. The CECI has also been given formal authorization from the country's Director of Civil Protection to represent that office when necessary. Moreover, the CECI has been active in Haiti for over 40 years and took action from the very start of the disaster; it has a network of reliable local partners, which goes a long way towards facilitating all the humanitarian efforts.
Our emergency relief experts and the CECI's spokesman, Philippe Fehmiu, as well as Myriam Fehmiu in Port au Prince and Luck Mervil in Montréal, are available for interviews. Communications with Port au Prince have been restored, although they can still be difficult.
We wish to thank all our generous donors and encourage the public to stay mobilized and continue supporting the efforts of the CECI and its partners to provide assistance to the people of Haiti! The Canadian government has allocated nearly $2,500,000 to Haitian relief efforts. The CECI wishes to especially thank radio station CPAM, which organized a fundraising activity to support the victims of this disaster. Numerous initiatives are bearing witness to unprecedented solidarity.
Interviews with CECI experts
Interviews with Philippe Fehmiu and Myriam Fehmiu in Port au Prince
Interviews with Luck Mervil in Montréal
Online donations are accepted at this Web site: www.ceci.ca
Donations may be made by telephone at this toll-free number:
1-877-875-2324 - Within Montréal at 514 875-9911, and by mail to:
CECI (Haiti Earthquake), 3000 rue Omer-Lavallée, Montréal (QC) H1Y 3R8.
SOURCE Center for International Studies and Cooperation
For further information: For further information: Carine Guidicelli, Director of Communications and Fundraising, (514) 572-3558