For Immediate Release
Oxfam Team Dispatched to the Haiti Quake Zone
WASHINGTON - A six-strong team of Oxfam
emergency specialists has been dispatched to Haiti from the UK today to
bolster the charity's response to the devastation wrought by the
earthquake that struck the country on Tuesday.
Cedric Perus, Oxfam's humanitarian coordinator in Port au Prince said:
"I have seen wounded people flooding into the hospitals and
buildings of several stories high that are now totally flat. Several
thousands have probably died in the quake, but it will it will take
time to get a full picture. Bodies may stay under the rubble for a long
time because it is difficult to access some sites and heavy lifting
equipment is in limited supply.
"There are bodies all over the city. People have nowhere to put them
so they wrap them in sheets and cardboards in the hope that the
authorities will pick them. People have also piled bodies in front of
the city's main hospitals.
"Oxfam's teams have now started to assess the scale of the disaster
across the different parts of Port au Prince as some have been more
severely affected than others. The epicenter was near the slum of
Carrefour, where people were living in flimsy shacks. There are reports
that over 90% of its buildings are in ruins.
"Our immediate priorities will be providing safe water and shelter material for the people who have lost their homes. Many people have lost their homes and were sleeping out in the open last night.
There has been no rain yet, but there was rain earlier in the week and
if it comes again it will make the situation much worse for all those
made homeless by this quake. It is dangerous at night. Lootings were
widespread and some markets were ransacked."
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Oxfam is preparing to send stocks from its Bicester Warehouse in
Oxfordshire, UK. Materials that will be sent include plastic sheeting
and equipment for water distribution, purification and storage.
Communication has been difficult since the 7.0 on the Richter scale
quake struck 10 miles southwest of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, but
the situation is undoubtedly grave. Homes, office buildings, roads,
schools, hospitals and hotels have collapsed. Millions of people are
affected and the aid agencies need millions of dollars to get aid to
all the people that need it.
Please consider helping fund our Haiti Earthquake Response Fund. These Oxfam affiliates are running direct appeals:
- Oxfam America
- Oxfam Australia
- Oxfam-in-Belgium, in French or in Dutch
- Oxfam Canada
- Oxfam Great Britain
- Oxfam Hong Kong
- Oxfam Ireland
- Oxfam Mexico
- Oxfam Novib (Netherlands)
- Oxfam New Zealand
- Oxfam Quebec
- Intermon Oxfam (Spain)
Alternatively, you can also make a donation to the general emergency fund of your nearest national Oxfam affiliate. Your money will be used to fund our emergency work worldwide, which includes responding in countries such as Haiti.
Oxfam's response to the Haiti earthquake, including the latest audio updates
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Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change. Oxfam works directly with communities and that seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.