SCIAF Chief Executive Paul Chitnis said:
Today SCIAF has launched an emergency appeal to help us provide urgent supplies of clean water, sanitation and temporary shelter to thousands of people in the disaster zone. We would urge the public to give whatever they can to help us get immediate support to those most in need.
SCIAF is extremely concerned about the situation on the ground which has left many dead, thousands injured and potentially millions in urgent need of emergency aid.
Haiti is already the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere and home to one of the worlds largest slums, the Cit Soleil. It is beyond comprehension that this tragedy should affect people already existing on the margins of society.
As more details emerge from Haiti, it is becoming clear that a great deal of long term support will be needed to help the country make a full recovery from the disaster.
SCIAF has worked in Haiti since 1987 and is currently contacting its local partners to assess what further action can be taken to help with emergency relief. SCIAF will also be providing emergency aid through the world-wide Catholic aid coalition Caritas International which dispatched an emergency response team to Haiti today.
The death toll from the earthquake and aftershocks is currently unclear but up to three million people are believe to have been affected. Large areas of the capital have been destroyed and many remaining buildings have been badly damaged. Communication links with the country are extremely poor.
Members of the public can donate to SCIAFs Haiti Earthquake Appeal by calling 0141 354 5555 or online at http://www.sciaf.org.uk.
SCIAFs long term international development work in Haiti includes providing agricultural support to poor communities.