WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 The American Red Cross today issued a one-month progress report on its efforts to provide food, water, relief supplies, shelter, healthcare, family services and other assistance since the January 12 earthquake in Haiti.
"Every day since the earthquake, we have been focused on getting aid into the hands of those who need it most," said Gail McGovern, president and chief executive officer of the American Red Cross. "The American people have entrusted us with this responsibility, and we remain committed to helping the people of Haiti cope with their losses."
Since the earthquake, the American Red Cross has raised approximately $255 million for the Haiti relief and recovery efforts. To date, it has spent or committed $80 million, with approximately 69 percent of the funds spent or committed for food and water; 20 percent for shelter; and 11 percent for health and family services. As the response progresses and recovery begins, the Red Cross will continue to support these priority areas and longer-term assistance initiatives.
Food, Water and Other Relief Items
The American Red Cross has provided 3 million pre-packaged meals to the United Nations World Food Programme as well as $30 million in funding to help feed an additional 1 million people for a month. To meet the dire need for clean water, it has also distributed more than 1 million water-purification sachets as well as containers that allow people to clean and carry water. The American Red Cross is also providing supplies for 130,000 people and working with Red Cross teams from other nations distributing relief items such as blankets, kitchen supplies, hygiene kits and buckets.
More than 1 million people in Haiti are in need of shelter. Leaders representing more than 20 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, including the American Red Cross, gathered this week in Montreal, Canada for a two-day summit to develop and coordinate a comprehensive approach to respond to Haiti's immediate and long-term needs.
"The challenges to quickly develop and deliver appropriate transitional shelters, and to do so prior to the rainy season, are immense," said David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services with the American Red Cross. "This week's meetings establish both a commitment and process to quickly shelter tens of thousands of survivors."
In coordination with other relief agencies, the Red Cross aims to address the complex shelter situation in Haiti through a combination of strategies, including:
Health and Family Services
Since the earthquake, the American Red Cross has provided more than 1,100 units of blood for earthquake survivors, more than 50 Creole-speaking interpreters for the USNS Comfort hospital ship, and $600,000 worth of food for the mobile clinics and hospitals operated by other Red Cross teams in Haiti.
In the United States, the American Red Cross has been providing welcoming services, shelter and other support for repatriated citizens and medical evacuees who arrived home following the earthquake. In addition, the American Red Cross is helping people find and reestablish contact with their loved ones in Haiti through its international family tracing service - a form of assistance that is also being provided by the Red Cross in Haiti.
It is clear that what took minutes to destroy will take many years and the collective support from governments and relief agencies across the globe to help rebuild. Because of the extraordinary support from the American public, the American Red Cross will continue to play an important role in relief efforts in the months ahead.
"The needs are great, but the generous support of the American people is making a difference every day," said McGovern.
To learn more and read the complete report, please visit www.redcross.org/haiti.
You can help the victims of countless crises, like the recent earthquake in Haiti, around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation by mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.redcross.org.
-- Providing local families with solutions that will encourage them to rebuild safely near their pre-disaster homes -- Supporting host families who are housing displaced people -- Supporting people in post-quake settlements by providing both tarps and tents
SOURCE American Red Cross