Tropical storms worsen the situation for Haitians - DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE asks the Canadian public to contribute to emergency relief and reconstruction

    MONTREAL, Sept. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - In response to the catastrophic impact
of the series of tropical storms that have devastated Haiti, DEVELOPMENT AND
PEACE is asking the Canadian public to contribute funds for emergency relief
and reconstruction in the country. The latest storm, Ike, hit the small
country on September 7, particularly affecting the city of Gonaives, which was
already badly flooded by storms Hanna, Fay and Gustav. The current death toll
is estimated at 630, with about 650,000 Haitians awaiting aid in precarious
conditions. Other storms are expected later this week.
    DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE has already committed $ 50,000 to Caritas Haiti.
Caritas plans to provide at least 4000 people with access to fresh water and
sanitation, build five shelter camps and rebuild 500 homes. According to staff
in the field, the storms have wiped out much of the east of the country,
leaving people without food, water or shelter should more storms hit.
    "We are extremely concerned because Haiti is particularly vulnerable to
this type of disaster" says Anne Catherine Kennedy, Programme Officer for
Haiti at DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE. "Deforestation and erosion, linked to extreme
poverty, has led to the construction of substandard homes, which are easily
swept away during flash floods and wind storms. This year, the food riots in
May and the political crisis from April to September have amplified the
challenges already facing the population."
    "Last week, we were hit by Tropical Storm Gustav, which caused serious
damage. This time it is Tropical Storm Hanna that caused a catastrophe. Almost
ten departments in the country have been affected. It is the first time in our
lives that we see something like this," said on September 5 Philogène
Deslourdes, from the Papaye Peasant's Movement (MPP), a DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE
    DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE's partners in Haiti are currently assessing the
needs of the victims and preparing a response. The organisations were active
in the emergency and reconstruction process after Tropical Storm Jeanne killed
over 3,000 in the Gonaives periphery in September, 2004. At the time, the
Canadian public contributed $ 1,860,000 to DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE in support of
their projects.

    Those wishing to contribute to emergency relief in Haiti are invited to
call toll free at: 1 888 664-3387 or visit DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE's website at: Cheques labelled "Haiti" can be sent to 1425 René Lévesque O.
3rd floor, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1T7.

    DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE's program officer for Haiti is available for
interviews in English and in French.

For further information:

For further information: Media: Eleonore Fournier-Tombs, (514) 257-8711
ext. 307,

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