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Monday, January 10, 2011

IR USA Staff Members Travel to Haiti for Earthquake’s One-Year Anniversary

One year ago, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the island nation of Haiti and nearly destroyed its capital city of Port-au-Prince. The January 2010 quake claimed more than 200,000 lives, according to the Haitian government, and left nearly two million people homeless.

In the days immediately following the earthquake, Islamic Relief launched a fundraising appeal and coordinated an aid shipment with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The shipment contained $293,000-worth of food, water, filtration systems and medical supplies. As one of the first responders on the ground, Islamic Relief staff began distributing food and water in the wake of the disaster and also opened one of the first makeshift camps to house displaced people.

But now, a year later, despite ongoing international support, an estimated 1.3 million Haitians are still clustered in makeshift camps and relying on foreign aid for survival. This week, Islamic Relief USA has sent two staff members to Haiti to assess the situation, conduct case studies, and visit IR programs. IR USA will also be launching a new $1.5 million initiative to rehabilitate a school and build 400 transitional shelters. Finally, the organization will be starting a Cholera Prevention and Control project to address the current cholera epidemic.

In the coming days, check back with our blog to read posts from IR USA’s Media Relations Coordinator, Asma Yousef, and Karim Amin, IR USA’s programs coordinator. They will also be tweeting and providing updates on our Facebook fan page about the trip and Islamic Relief USA’s work in Haiti. Amin was part of IR USA’s emergency response team post-earthquake last January.

Find out how you can help the people of Haiti -- because they need our help now more than ever.
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