The Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Dr Houston McKelvey, has presented £100,000 to Christian Aid Ireland for the victims of the Haiti earthquake.
The presentation of the cheque on March 16 to Mr Adrian Horsman of Christian Aid brings the total donation via St Anne’s Cathedral, to £150,000.
Dean McKelvey said: “I wish to thank the individuals, churches, schools, clubs and business right across Northern Ireland who have responded so generously to this area of immense need. I know that Christian Aid Ireland will ensure through its partners in Haiti that the generosity of our people will be carefully administered. I saw this firsthand in 2005 in Sri Lanka following the tsunami.”
Mr Horsman said: ”Christian Aid’s partners in Haiti are distributing food parcels, cooked meals, emergency relief items and healthcare to more than 150,000 people in various locations. These include Port-au-Prince and places outside the capital including Carrefour, Leogane, Petit Guave, Mirogoane, Plaine du Cul de Sac and Delmas.
“As our partners continue their emergency response they are also planning their long-term activities including: rebuilding and repair of homes, support for children’s return to school, provision of seeds ahead of the planting season and provision of livestock. Other partners are working on human rights and advocacy on land property rights.”
Mr Horsman went on: “Christian Aid believes that rebuilding and reconstruction efforts should be led by Haitians themselves. Christian Aid is also implementing the lessons learnt from the Asian Tsunami to ensure that time is invested in addressing people’s needs and meeting them appropriately.
“Thousands of people have lost their homes and the rainy season is fast approaching, so the most pressing need of the survivors right now is for shelter as well as clean water, food and medicines.
“Up to one million people are estimated to be moving out of the capital Port-au-Prince and other affected areas into rural areas. They will need shelter, food and water as they settle in these areas.”
A member of staff of Christian Aid Ireland’s Dublin office is going out to Haiti on a two month secondment to the Christian Aid Port-au-Prince office.