World Vision Launches Public Appeal Amid Fears For The Children Of Haiti

World Vision is increasingly concerned about vulnerable children as it begins it relief efforts in the devastated Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.

The aid agency believes the loss of life is likely to be significant following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake which struck at 5pm on Tuesday (Jan 12 – local time). Thousands of people have also been made homeless and are in urgent need of medical care, clean water, shelter and food.

With 30 years experience of working in Haiti and emergency supplies and equipment prepositioned in country, World Vision has already mobilised its relief response despite challenging conditions. “World Vision Haiti will distribute first aid kits to survivors, along with basic materials such as soap, blankets, clothes and bottles of water as an initial response,” said Maggie Boyer, a World Vision staffer in Haiti. In addition World Vision’s 370 staff in Haiti, who mostly work in rural development programmes around the country, have been redeployed and are now making their to Port-au-Prince to assist.

But it is the children, World Vision says who will be the most vulnerable as a result of this tragedy. The child-focused aid agency is warning that thousands of children in Haiti are already forced into modern day slavery, and hundreds of thousands more lack parental care.

In addition Haiti has the worst indicators on child health and education in the Western hemisphere, and levels of child rights violations are alarming.

Amanda Rives, who works for World Vision’s Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office said: “We are very concerned about the protection and well-being of the children. An earthquake of this magnitude is an extremely traumatic experience for children.

Many children may be injured or separated from their families. Our priority is ensuring that children’s physical and emotional needs are met, both now and in the coming weeks.”

World Vision New Zealand has launched an official public appeal to support the relief work and long-term rehabilitation programmes which will be required.

New Zealanders are asked to urgently lend a hand and make a donation by calling 0800 80 2000 or pledging $30 through their Telecom account by phoning 0900 4 HOPE. Alternatively donations can be made via the website: http://www.worldvision.org.nz.

source: http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/world-vision-launches-public-appeal-amid-fears-children-haiti/5/35325

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Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 9:14 am  Comments (3)  
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