Oxfam is appealing for public support as the international aid agency responds to yesterday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti.
Oxfam Australia’s Emergencies Manager Richard Young said it was clear that a major international effort will be needed to help the many people affected by the earthquake.
“Oxfam has a 100 strong team already on the ground in Haiti, including 15 emergency response specialists,” Mr Young said.
“They’ll be working to support rescue efforts, assess the scale of the damage, and provide essential public health, water and sanitation services to prevent the spread of disease.
“Oxfam has additional emergency supplies positioned in nearby Panama which we can also use to help with the recovery efforts,” Mr Young said.
Chris Martin of Coldplay in Haiti in 2002.
Oxfam’s appeal is being supported by Coldplay’s Chris Martin, an Oxfam ambassador who visited Haiti in 2002 to meet with coffee farmers supported by the agency.
Chris Martin said: “I visited Haiti with Oxfam a few years ago. It’s a country of extreme poverty and brutal living conditions. Most people in Port-au-Prince live in tin shacks. The earthquake that has struck Haiti will have turned the city into an unimaginable hell.
“The people of Haiti will be desperate for help and assistance. The public can make a donation to Oxfam’s appeal at www.oxfam.org.au or by phoning 1800 088 110.”
Oxfam has been in Haiti for more than 30 years, helping people improve their livelihoods and working with local organisations.
Oxfam’s emergency work is tailored according to need and provides both immediate relief and longer term support to help people get back on their feet and support themselves.
For more information please contact: Kate Thwaites on +61 407 515 559
Please note Chris Martin is not available for interview, but photos of his 2002 visit are available.