The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Lurma Rackley,Public Relations Director,Phone: +1.404.979.9450 (Atlanta),Mobile: +1.404.394.8298,E-mail:,

CARE Deploys Additional Emergency Team Members to Haiti


CARE is deploying additional emergency team members to the devastated
city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti, where the worst earthquake in 200
years destroyed houses and left thousands homeless. While the exact
death toll from the 7.0-magnitude quake is not yet known, it is
expected to be catastrophic.

CARE has launched an international
appeal for funds for Haiti that will support immediate emergency
operations. CARE plans to start food distribution using stocks of
high-protein biscuits from its warehouses in Haiti. CARE is
coordinating with other U.N. agencies and aid organizations to assess
damage and on-the-ground needs.

Initial reports are
that homes and buildings across the city have been destroyed, including
essential services like hospitals. Electricity is out and phone lines
are down across the affected area, restricting available information
about the extent of the disaster. Aftershocks continue to rock the area
and have caused landslides outside the city.

Perez, CARE's country director in Haiti, was in the CARE office in
Port-au-Prince when the earthquake hit. CARE's staff in the
Port-au-Prince office escaped the office safely, but we are still
trying to determine if all other staff in the area are safe.

was terrifying. It lasted for more than a minute,'' said Perez. ''The
whole building was shaking. People were screaming, crying. Last night,
people were sleeping outside because they were afraid to go back inside
their homes. Many of the houses are destroyed anyway. There were eight
aftershocks last night. Everyone was sleeping in the streets. The whole
city is affected. It is just morning here now, and I can hear
helicopters working on the search and rescue. The immediate need is to
rescue people trapped in the rubble, then to get people food and water.
We're particularly worried about the children, because so many schools
seem to have collapsed. Children were still in school in the afternoon
when the earthquake hit, so there are many children trapped. It's

Dr. Helene Gayle, CARE president and CEO,
said, ''This is an extremely serious situation. We currently have 133
personnel on the ground in Haiti and are deploying additional staff
immediately to distribute food, hygiene kits and water, as well as to
deliver emergency health services.''

CARE has extensive
experience responding to disasters of this magnitude. Many of CARE's
staff in Haiti include emergency personnel who were part of the
response to the devastating Hurricane Hanna in 2008. CARE began working
in Haiti in 1954 to provide relief assistance after Hurricane Hazel.
Today CARE's work in Haiti includes projects in HIV/AIDS, reproductive
health, maternal and child health, education, food security, and water
and sanitation.

Delta Air Lines, a long time CARE
partner, is providing transportation support for Atlanta-based CARE
staff into Haiti to support our Haiti Country Office team on the ground
with emergency relief.

To Donate: Go to or call +1.800.521.CARE or +1.800.521.2273.

CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.