Sunday, March 14, 2010

Haiti Aid Waning, Say Relief Groups


More than two months after a massive earthquake devastated Haiti, relief agencies say donations have dwindled, but help is still desperately needed.

Samaritan’s Purse is still actively helping with the reconstruction of the island nation, rocked by a 7 magnitude earthquake Jan. 12, by offering medical service and distributing food and cash.

The agency is in the process of setting up a national office in the country, but while progress is being made, donations have slowed down in the past couple weeks, said spokesman Martin Sibernagel.

“We’re always looking for donations,” he said.

“They have definitely slowed down — it’s understandable, it was a fairly big story for awhile then there were other things that began to take attention.”

And while thanking Calgarians for their support to Haiti, Sibernagel hopes the story doesn’t stray from their minds.

“We ask them to try and keep it in their minds and find out what’s going on even though it’s not front page any more,” he said.

The disaster has claimed more than 230,000 lives, and that number could likely grow without continued support, he said.

“The president of Haiti has said if they don’t get more temporary shelters before the start of the rainy season there are going to be more deaths,” he said.

And while the Canadian Red Cross has helped shelter 520,000 people in Haiti with plans to build 30,000 transitional houses, the need continues to be great, said Leila Daoud, provincial affairs coordinator.

“In comparison to other crises, the Red Cross has been involved in, it’s our largest relief effort ever undertaken,” she said.

Of the $121 million that has been donated, $90 million has been from individual Canadians, but Daoud said contributions have noticeably slowed.

“We absolutely think it’s an issue that should be front of mind — we understand as time goes on people may not be focused on it,” she said.

“It is unfortunate because things in Haiti are requiring of our attention.”

Source: CalgarySun

No comments:

Post a Comment