The American Red Cross Sends Help to Flood-ravaged Haiti
Aerial assessment shows some cities completely inaccessible;
Editors note: For interviews and photos from the American Red Cross in Haiti, please call Christy Feig at 202-303-5074
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 4, 2008 – The American Red Cross has two relief workers currently in Haiti to support the Haitian Red Cross respond to the mounting humanitarian needs following Hurricane Gustav and Tropical Storm Hanna hitting within a week of each other.
“We are very concerned for the people living in Haiti. To help our sister society the Haitian Red Cross, we are sending two disaster specialists to help assess and respond to the needs of the community.” said Christine Burkhart, American Red Cross program officer for Latin American and the Caribbean. .
In addition to the response workers in Haiti, the American Red Cross is sending $100,000 to help replenish the prepositioned relief supplies distributed by the Red Cross in Haiti and Jamaica and another disaster response worker to the Bahamas, where Hanna is hitting now.
Hurricane Gustav made landfall last week on the southwestern peninsula of Haiti with winds of up to 95mph, prompting heavy floods before proceeding westward. Before the water receded, Tropical Storm Hanna slammed the region and drenched the rest of the country causing an already bad situation to get worse.
“The devastation is widespread and there is no access to the city of Gonaives at this time,” said Matt Marek, Head of American Red Cross Programs in Haiti after viewing the damage from the air. “From our colleagues at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, we’re hearing 650,000 people near the city of Gonaives are at risk.”
The American Red Cross has a long history of working with the Haitian Red Cross during disasters-including after Hurricane Jeanne which claimed 3,000 lives in Gonaives-and has had health programs in Haiti for nearly five years.
These photos are available for media distribution. Please click the photo for caption and courtesy information.