HelpAge USA Launches Haiti Disaster Response Fund

Jan 13, 2010, 18:57 ET from HelpAge USA

Massive earthquake puts Haiti's elderly poor at extreme risk

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- HelpAge USA, an affiliate of HelpAge International which is the only relief and development organization focused exclusively on the needs of older people in developing countries, today launched a Haiti Emergency Response Fund to aid the survivors of the catastrophic earthquake that struck Tuesday, January 12, 2010.  Donations to the HelpAge USA Fund will assist the 800,000 older individuals in Haiti who are suffering from the disaster.

"Older Haitians living in poverty are particularly at-risk right now," said Marilyn F. Grist, Executive Director of HelpAge USA.  "Three quarters of the population live on less than $2 per day, and older people are further weakened by physical, social, and economic vulnerabilities related to age."  

HelpAge's program staff, based in Port-au-Prince, is already on the ground conducting assessments and providing emergency support.  "The slum areas of the city have been devastated.  Homes in these areas are very poorly built on vulnerable slopes, and many have collapsed," says Bertin Meance, program manager of HelpAge in Haiti.  "The greatest immediate priority is search and rescue. After that the priority is to provide food, clean water, shelter and medical assistance to those most in need.  The scale of the devastation will make a large international response very necessary."

To learn more about what HelpAge USA is doing to help respond to the Haiti earthquake, or to make a donation to the Haiti Emergency Response Fund, visit or send a check to HelpAge USA at 4750 41st St, Suite 410, Washington DC 20016.  

About HelpAge USA

HelpAge USA, an affiliate of HelpAge International, builds awareness of global aging issues among US audiences; advocates for the empowerment of older, vulnerable adults in the developing world; and raises funds to support the programs of the HelpAge network.

HelpAge International helps older people around the world lead full and secure lives. It is the only global network focused on the needs and rights of vulnerable older people.