OFID Grants $500.000 Emergency Help to Haiti

Vienna, Friday 15 Jan. 2010. Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director General, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) stated that the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has approved a grant of US$500.000 to provide essential relief supplies and help finance emergency operations to aid victims of the massive earthquake that struck the coast of Haiti on January 12. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) estimates that up to three million people (roughly a third of Haiti’s population) have been affected by the earthquake.

Immediate assistance will be directed toward the most vulnerable groups, and emphasis will be placed on restoring family links during the initial response stage. On January 13, the IFRC launched a preliminary emergency appeal seeking US$10 million to assist approximately 100,000 people (20.000 families) for nine months. The appeal will be revised in the upcoming days. OFID’s grant, which will be channelled through the IFRC, will be used to help finance some of the relief efforts.

Assistance from the IFRC has started to arrive in the country. Several Emergency Response Units (ERUs) are being deployed with staff coming from Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from all over the world. The ERUs will provide urgently-needed support to staff and volunteers of the Haiti Red Cross who have been assisting the population with relief items since the earthquake struck. Among other things, the ERU members will establish a fully-equipped field hospital, while others will be engaged in relief coordination and providing water and sanitation facilities, shelter, telecommunication services and medical supplies.

Edeline B. Clermont weeps in the Little Haiti area of Miami as she talks to her sister after both were unable to contact relatives in Haiti, which has been devastated by Tuesday's earthquake. Pic. Credit: Alan Diaz/Associated Press.

The earthquake, which registered 7.3 on the Richter Scale, was the worst in the region in more than 200 years. As many as 50.000 people are, thus far, feared dead. The most severely-affected cities are the capital Port-au-Prince, Carrefour and Jacmel located in the West Province area that is populated by some 2.2 million people. The devastation wrought upon the area is extensive, a situation exacerbated after the occurrence of more than 10 aftershocks that measured 5.0 on the Richter Scale.

Vital infrastructure has been destroyed and Government buildings have collapsed or have suffered severe damage, including the presidential palace and several ministries, as well as the local United Nations headquarters. One three-story hospital has been razed to the ground, and many of the remaining ones are not admitting additional patients as they are already operating at full capacity.

1 comment to OFID Grants $500.000 Emergency Help to Haiti

  • We pray for all of the victims of this and victims of Israeli violence in Palestine and American violence in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and all throughout the world in distress. May all help be given them all.

    Steve

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