CRS commits extra $5 million to Haiti relief

by Tom Roberts

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troberts@ncronline.org

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In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, Catholic Relief Services made an initial commitment of $5 million for immediate relief, an amount that will probably rise significantly, according to John Rivera, director of communications for CRS in Baltimore.

Rivera said the agency has “pre-positioned” emergency supplies in Haiti for about 5,000 people. The supplies, which include kitchen kits of pots and pans, food, hygiene kits and temporary shelter, is already in place because Haiti “is so disaster prone.”

Supplies for another 2,500 people will be trucked in from neighboring Dominican Republic, he said.

CRS international staff in Haiti, said Rivera, stayed at the agencies office in Port au Prince the night after the quake, but slept outside on the ground because of the aftershocks. A building across the street from the office had collapsed.

The day after the quake, he said, it was difficult to begin to assess the dimensions of the disaster because of the lack of communications and because the basic infrastructure in Port au Prince was poor to nonexistent even before the shock.

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