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Aid agencies urging Canadians to support Haitian relief

Haiti(January 12, 2010) – Canadian aid agencies, under the banner of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION, are urging Canadians to support the relief efforts in Haiti after today’s earthquake that has devastated the area of country’s capital city, Port au Prince.

The HUMANITARIAN COALITION, comprised of CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec and Save the Children Canada, is working to address the needs of the survivors of this earthquake. The four member agencies are joining together to raise funds for the hundreds of thousands of people affected by this humanitarian crisis.

Through the coordination of these top agencies, Canadian donations will be allocated where they will be most effective.

“At this stage it is too early to tell the severity of the earthquake in Haiti, but the early signs are not good with communications down across the country,” said Michel Verret, Development and Public Relations Director of Oxfam-Québec.

“We are well prepared to help, with public health, water and sanitation teams in Port au Prince ready to respond. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere where 85% of people already live in poverty, given the desperate needs that people face on a day to day basis, this earthquake is grim news for the poor people of Haiti.”

HUMANITARIAN COALITION members are already present in the country. The emergency response will be based entirely on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable. Emergency programmes will include the delivery of safe drinking water, food, shelter materials and hygiene kits.

“Given the location and the sheer intensity of the earthquake, we are expecting this to be worse than any earthquake we’ve seen in this region in a recent memory. Hundreds of thousands of people will most likely be affected,” said Alain Lapierre, leader of the CARE Canada emergency team being deployed to Haiti. “The survivors will need clean water, shelter, and medical aid – particularly the most vulnerable women, children and the elderly. The faster we can get it to them, the more lives we will save.”

With a combined presence in 120 countries, the joint efforts by the members of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION provide a widespread and effective response to emergencies. In addition, the campaign has one call centre, one phone number and a joint website for online donations in order to make donating easy for Canadians. Public service announcements and web communications are coordinated to represent a single and unified voice.

To donate to THE HUMANITARIAN COALITION, call 1-800-464-9154, log onto humanitariancoalition.ca or send donations to THE HUMANITARIAN COALITION, PO Box 65035, Ottawa, ON, K2G 5Y3

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