Kinnamon: Devastation in Haiti
calls for 'unprecedented' response
New York, January 14, 2010 -- The
General Secretary of the National Council of Churches is urging an
"immediate and generous response" to calls for aid following the earthquake that
devastated Haiti Tuesday.
destruction around Port-au-Prince is so massive it can't yet be measured,"
said the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon. "What is clear is that the toll in lives
and property will go beyond our ability to comprehend it. The situation has
few precedents in our lifetimes, and our response to it must also be
Kinnamon called upon the
45-million members of congregations related to NCC member communions to act
immediately to support the people of Haiti and relief organizations that are
sending workers, food and water, clothing, and other necessities to Haiti.
He cited contributions to
Church World Service, the NCC's sister relief organization and historic
partner, as a direct way of helping the people of Haiti.
"We must pray for the people of
Haiti, hundreds of thousands of whom are grieving the loss of loved ones,
wandering dazed and homeless and hungry," Kinnamon said. "May our loving God
be a powerful presence in their lives. Tragedies like this one are
impossible to understand, and we need to remind ourselves that God is also
shedding tears at the pain and suffering of God's children in Haiti."
CHURCH WORLD SERVICE
EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROGRAM
CWS EMERGENCY APPEAL:
Appeal Number: #6762
Appeal Amount: $200,000
Jan. 13, 2010
SITUATION: The global humanitarian community, including Church World
Service, has begun responding to the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit
the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday (Jan. 12).
Much of the capital was reduced to rubble, and at this early stage
estimates of casualties and damage are not known, though thousands are
believed to have perished. The Haitian president, René Préval, described
the death toll as *unimaginable.*
The International Red Cross has estimated that more than 3 million
people have been affected. In calling for a major international effort
to assist Haitians, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today
called the situation "a major humanitarian emergency and that a major
relief effort will be required."
RESPONSE: CWS is issuing this initial appeal with additional revisions
planned in coming days.
CWS, a member of the ACT Alliance, is in contact with long-time partners
in Haiti, including other ACT Alliance members, Christian Aid and the
Lutheran World Federation, and local partners Service Chretien dHaiti,
SKDE and the Ecumenical Foundation for Peace and Justice.
EFPJ*s House of Hope is a day school CWS supports in Port au Prince.
Preliminary information indicates the orphanage is damaged, and some
staff are trying to determine the well-being of other staff and
children. Christian Aid colleagues report their office is damaged and
are still trying to reach unaccounted-for staff. CWS has also made
contact with long-time partner, Lutheran World Federation in Haiti.
CWS partners in the Dominican Republic have been contacted and accounted
for. CWS contacted Cuban missionaries from long-time partner, the Cuban
Council of Churches, which works with people with disabilities in Haiti.
CCC staff are currently in the border city of Dajabon trying to account
for a dozen of volunteers they work with in Port Au Prince.
CWS is sending funds to local partners in Haiti as it continues to
assess the situation, and is ready to provide CWS Kits and CWS Blankets
to those in need.
In speaking to CWS staff today, CWS Latin America and Caribbean
Coordinator Martin Coria said communications with CWS partners in Haiti
remain difficult. But he praised "the resilience and spirit of the
Haitian people" whom he said have endured poverty and repeated
humanitarian and political crises for many years.
BUDGET: The initial appeal amount is $200,000 to help in the provision
of immediate relief assistance that may include material resource
provision, temporary shelter and food and health service assistance.
HOW TO HELP: Contributions to support this emergency appeal may be sent
to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart,
IN, 46515. Please designate: Haiti Earthquake, Appeal Number #6762
For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is
responding please visit www.churchworldservice.org or call the CWS
Hotline, (800) 297-1516.
CWS Emergency Response Program special contacts: (212) 870-3151
NCC News contact:
Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell) ,