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International community rallies to aid quake-struck Haitians

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2010-01-13

International relief efforts have got underway as Haiti battles to save people still trapped under the rubble following a massive 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday night. The death toll is expected to be in the thousands.

The international community is rallying to begin relief efforts on Tuesday as Haiti called for aid, battling against time to save people following a massive earthquake.

“I am appealing to the world, especially the United States, to….help us in this dire situation that we find ourselves in,” Raymond Alcide Joseph, Haiti’s ambassador to Washington, stated in a CNN interview.

Relief efforts organised by the international community

US: US President Barack Obama said search and rescue teams would arrive within hours after the "heartwrenching" earthquake.The US military on Wednesday mobilised ships, aircraft and expert teams due to arrive within hours to help the relief effort. An aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, was on the way and due to arrive Thursday.

UK: A humanitarian assessment team is being rushed to Haiti, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said, adding that he is "ready to provide whatever humanitarian assistance is required".

: A statement released on Wednesday by French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said that France was sending rescue services to help operations in Haiti and locate French citizens there.

Germany: The German government offered one million euros in immediate humanitarian aid and said it was also looking into other ways that it could help.

Brazil : The country’s defence minister and army chief have left for Haiti to get first-hand information about the Brazilian-led UN stabilisation force in Haiti. At least four Brazilian soldiers have been confirmed dead, with many others missing. Brazil’s government also announced it was sending 10 million dollars in immediate aid.

Canada: Ottawa is sending a plane and two helicopters with medical equipment and a substantial relief and rescue force. Canada will also provide five million Canadian dollars (4.8 million US) to Haiti for emergency shelter, medical services, food, water and sanitation services.

United Nations: The UN is immediately releasing $10 million from its central emergency response fund, and mobilizing an emergency response team—expected to be on the ground shortly -- to help coordinate aid efforts.

European Union: The EU's executive European Commission has approved 3 million euros ($4.37 million) of fast-track funding for the international effort and could pledge more in coming days.

World Bank: The organisation plans to send a team to help Haiti assess damage and map a recovery.

International Red Cross: The agency said it had unlocked emergency funds and was mobilising relief supplies.

The UN's World Food Programme: The programme has said it could respond swiftly with some 15,000 tonnes of food supplies.

Note: The main photo on this page was taken by a photographer, Daniel Morel, and released via Twitter. To see more photos:

Date created : 2010-01-13


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