WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) encourages Americans to respond appropriately and responsibly when considering sending donations to aid the victims of the cholera outbreak in Haiti. Americans wishing to help victims in the affected communities are encouraged to donate cash as an alternative to in-kind donations such as collections of over-the-counter medicines and bottled water. Cash donations are widely recognized as the most efficient and effective means of relief, a policy supported by CIDI's funding partner, the United States Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, and those in the established international disaster response community.
The first cholera outbreak in Haiti in 50 years has resulted in more than 300 deaths and sickened more than 4,700. While the epidemic's death rate is slowing, the disease has begun to spread outside of the initial outbreak zones in Artibonite and Center provinces, with cases confirmed in two new provinces, Nord-Est and Nord. Officials from the World Health Organization have recommended that Haiti should prepare for the disease to spread to Port-au-Prince, where 1.3 million survivors of January's devastating earthquake are living in tent camps in and around the capital.
The cholera epidemic has increased the already difficult situation for the people of the earthquake-ravaged nation. Many aid organizations are already on the ground in Haiti and will be able to put Americans' generosity to use to best help the victims of the outbreak. Cash donations can be used to buy the medical supplies and emergency items needed on the ground, without the delay of collecting, packing, shipping and distributing in-kind items, which may be inappropriate for the victims.
"Americans can help the most by donating cash to an established relief agency," says Suzanne H. Brooks, Director of CIDI. "Haitians have suffered greatly over the past ten months and desperately need the public to respond appropriately. Helping the efforts of professional humanitarian relief agencies is the absolute best way to aid the cholera outbreak victims in Haiti."
Those interested in making contributions to help the victims in Haiti can get more information by visiting CIDI's Web site at www.cidi.org. Additionally, interested donors can visit www.interaction.org to obtain a list of credible responding agencies for international emergencies and www.charitynavigator.org or www.bbb.org to get valuable information on making informed decisions when supporting charities. In addition, donors can visit www.globalgiving.org.
CIDI is based in Washington, DC and was created in 1988. The Center is funded by the United States Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. CIDI provides individuals, groups, embassies and corporations with information and guidance in support of appropriate international disaster relief efforts. The organization works with a variety of partners to channel the public's energy and desire to help to achieve maximum impact. By reaching out to the American public and the private sector, CIDI helps to promote activities and donations that will do the most good for disaster victims around the world. For more information about CIDI and helping international victims, please visit http://www.cidi.org.