UNICEF Urgently Appeals for Aid to Haiti Following Devastating Earthquake

Jan 12, 2010, 19:10 ET from U.S. Fund for UNICEF


NEW YORK, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is urgently appealing for emergency assistance to aid the victims of a devastating earthquake that rocked the Caribbean nation of Haiti early today.

The quake, which registered 7.0 on the Richter scale, triggered a tsunami warning for neighboring countries situated in the Caribbean Sea.

The earthquake was centered about 14 miles west of the capital city, Port-au-Prince and early news stories report of wide spread devastation.  

Funds are urgently needed to provide safe water, temporary shelter systems, essential medical supplies etc. UNICEF's country office in Haiti and the regional office located in Panama has deployed emergency teams to assess the situation and determine what the additional emergency needs are for the people of Haiti.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and has a population of 9.6 million inhabitants, of which more than half are under 21 years old.  UNICEF has been working in Haiti since 1949 and works directly with Haiti's government on developing long term solutions to current problems caused by poverty and lack of basic health care, education and sanitation services. 

The country has been suffering from long-term political strife and a severely depressed economy.   In recent years the effects of the global food crisis and particularly strong hurricane seasons have left the country dangerously vulnerable.  This catastrophe will only exacerbate the already critical situation for the people of Haiti, especially women and children.

To donate to the ongoing emergency relief efforts in Haiti and the Caribbean region, please visit: www.unicefusa.org/haitiquake or call 1-800-4UNICEF.


UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in over 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.

UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress -- the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. But still, 24,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.