Media advisory – Haiti meeting at Caritas Internationalis
16 February 2010
Representatives from Caritas members organisations will be at the Caritas Internationalis headquarters in the Vatican City on 17 February 2010 for a meeting on Haiti following the earthquake.
Caritas sets up a mobile basic health clinic in Leogane, one of the areas hit hardest by the earthquake.
Participants include Caritas Haiti Secretary General Fr Serge Chadic.
Caritas distributed food to over 200,000 people in the first four weeks after the disaster. It has also distributed emergency shelter kits to over 35,000 people. In addition, Caritas is providing medical and health care, water and psychological support to people affected by the 12 January earthquake.
“The people of Haiti have enormous resources and coping skills which have been invaluable following the earthquake,” said Lesley-Anne Knight, Caritas Internationalis Secretary General, who has just returned from Haiti. “But the widespread destruction caused by the earthquake to the infrastructure of their capital city and outlying towns means they will need international assistance on a massive scale, both financial and technical. It is a question of construction from scratch, with a vision for a new Haiti - not just re-constructing what was once there. Iit means putting respect for the dignity and potential of Haiti’s people in the shaping of their own future at the heart of all our efforts. ”
Around 230,000 people were killed in the massive earthquake which hit Haiti over one month ago. Half a million people were made homeless and many people are in makeshift camps and rely on aid agencies for food and water.
The initial Caritas programme is for two months, but the Vatican meeting will look at medium to longer term rebuilding issues.
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