UNICEF Urgently Appeals for Aid to Haiti Following Devastating Earthquake
TORONTO, 12 January 2010 - UNICEF Canada is urgently appealing for emergency assistance to aid the victims of a devastating earthquake that rocked the Caribbean nation of Haiti early today.
The quake, which registered 7.0 on the Richter scale, triggered a tsunami warning for neighboring countries situated in the Caribbean Sea.
The earthquake was centered about 14 miles west of the capital city, Port-au-Prince and early news stories report of wide spread devastation.
Funds are urgently needed to provide safe water, temporary shelter systems, essential medical supplies etc. UNICEF's country office in Haiti and the regional office located in Panama has deployed emergency teams to assess the situation and determine what the additional emergency needs are for the people of Haiti.
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and has a population of 9.6 million inhabitants, of which more than half are under 21 years old. UNICEF has been working in Haiti since 1949 and works directly with Haiti's government on developing long term solutions to current problems caused by poverty and lack of basic health care, education and sanitation services.
The country has been suffering from long-term political strife and a severely depressed economy. In recent years the effects of the global food crisis and particularly strong hurricane seasons have left the country dangerously vulnerable. This catastrophe will only exacerbate the already critical situation for the people of Haiti, especially women and children.
To donate to the Haiti earthquake relief efforts, please visit: unicef.ca. or call 1-877-955-3111.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF, please visit http://unicef.ca.