Caritas Delivers Emergency Assistance In Haiti As Appeal Is Opened..

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14th January 2010, 12:32pm - Views: 650






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MEDIA RELEASE










January 14, 2009


Caritas delivers emergency assistance in Haiti as

appeal is opened.


“It is a disaster of the century. We should be prepared for thousands of dead and

injured”, said Caritas USA staff member Karel Zalenka from Port au Prince. Mr

Zalenka who works with USA Caritas member  Catholic Relief Services said Port-au-

Prince is covered with a plume of dust from damaged building. I’ve been in

eaerthquake before, but I’ve never felt anything like this before” he said before

communications were cut off. 


Caritas will provide immediate assistance to survivors following the deadly earthquake

in Haiti. Caritas Internationalis has assembled an emergency relief team that is flying

to Haiti to provide support to Caritas members already working in the country. 


Communications are badly affected on the ground and as yet not contact has been

made with Caritas Haiti. The Cathedral in Port-au-Prince, adjacent to the Caritas Haiti

office, is badly damaged. 


Caritas has an extensive operations across Haiti supported by global Caritas

members. Catholic Relief Services (a Caritas member in the USA) has been in

communication with its staff in Haiti. Their office is still standing and staff present at

the time of the quake are safe. CRS staff described the quake as “a major hit…a direct

hit” 


Caritas Internationalis Humanitarian Director Alistair Dutton is leading the team. He

said, “We already know that Caritas staff will be providing support to survivors of the

earthquake, such as food, shelter and comfort through churches and parish networks. 


Ms Jamie Davies, Director of Caritas Australia’s Programs team and with extensive

experience in Haiti said, “An initial priority for Caritas will be to assess the damage and

our local capacity to provide aid to survivors of the quake. Caritas runs over 200

hospitals and medical centres in Haiti. It is experienced and prepared to respond to

humanitarian disasters there as a result of the frequent hurricanes. 


“Communications with our staff of the ground is difficult, but we are piecing together a

picture of desperate need. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Conflict, recent natural disasters, and poverty has left Haitians with a weak

infrastructure. Working in that environment will be difficult”, concluded Ms Davies.



You can support the Caritas Australia Haiti Earthquake Appeal by calling



More information Tim O’Connor 02) 8306 3400 or 0417 284 831

The Catholic Agency for International Aid and Development

28-32 O’Riordan St, Alexandria, NSW, Australia, 2015 Toll Free 1800 024 413 Facsimile 1800 887 895

Email caritas@caritas.org.au Website www.caritas.org.au ABN 90 970 605 069






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