Oxfam responding to earthquake in Haiti

Emergencies, Media Releases article written on the 13 Jan 2010

International aid agency Oxfam is responding to today’s earthquake in Haiti.

Oxfam Australia’s Emergencies Manager, Richard Young said the full severity of the earthquake in Haiti is still unclear, but the early signs are not good with communications down across the country.

“Oxfam has its emergency response team for Latin America based in Haiti so we are well prepared, with a public health, water and sanitation team in Port au Prince ready to respond. We also have emergency supplies in Panama that we are preparing to send in as soon as possible,” Mr Young said.

Kristie van de Wetering, a former Oxfam employee still based in Port-au-Prince described the situation as “very chaotic with houses in rubbles everywhere. There is a blanket of dust rising from the valley south of the capital.  We can hear people calling for help from every corner. The aftershocks are ongoing and making people very nervous”

Mr Young said Oxfam hopes to know more about the situation in the coming hours.

“Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere where 85% of people already live in poverty, given the desperate needs that people face on a day to day basis, this earthquake is grim news for the poor people of Haiti,” Mr Young said.

For more information please contact: Kate Thwaites on +61 407 515 559