As the death toll from Haiti’s devastating magnitude 7.2 earthquake passes 700, the aid agency CARE has begun distributing tents, water and other essential items. The earthquake has displaced thousands of people from their homes, with the full extent of the damage still unknown.
Saturday’s earthquake was stronger than 2010’s magnitude 7 quake which killed tens of thousands of people. However the latest earthquake hit farther away from the heavily-populated capital, Port-au-Prince.
Lora Wuennenberg, Interim Country Director at CARE Haiti, says: “Even here in Port-au-Prince we continue to experience aftershocks. The earthquake has hit communities that were already suffering from high levels of malnutrition and hunger, and this is going to make a bad situation worse.
“Many of the areas affected are logistically very challenging to reach so we are not likely to know the full impact of the earthquake for days to come.
“We know from past experience both in Haiti and other emergencies that women and girls are often the worst affected by these types of natural disasters, facing compounding stresses and higher threats of violence. CARE will be undertaking an assessment of the specific needs of women and girls and making sure it takes their specific concerns and voices into account.
“On top of this we also have a tropical depression headed towards the island, which may cause further damage and make recovery efforts even more challenging. Now more than ever international assistance and aid is needed to support the people of Haiti.”
CARE, which has worked in Haiti since 1954, is looking to raise US$20 million for the earthquake response.
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