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Acting Governor Urges Aid for Haitians

 

By Herald Staff

TRENTON – Acting Gov. Stephen M. Sweeney on Wednesday, Jan. 13 called upon all New Jerseyans to do what they can to help in the international response effort to yesterday’s deadly earthquake in Haiti. According to the US Census, New Jersey houses the nation’s fourth-largest Haitian population.
Several volunteer groups from churches and organizations from New Jersey — including a group of 15 volunteers from Trinity United Methodist Church in Hackettstown — were in Haiti at the time of the earthquake; their exact whereabouts and whether they are safe is not fully known.
Acting Gov. Sweeney released the following statement:
“All of our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and their families and loved ones in New Jersey. We should all say an additional prayer for the many selfless New Jersey residents who were volunteering their time in Haiti when yesterday’s earthquake occurred, and whose safety is not yet known.
“Every natural disaster creates its own heart-wrenching scenes. However, when a natural disaster strikes one of the world’s poorest countries, the devastation is magnified many times over.
“Now is the time for New Jerseyans to show the world yet again how we will not shy away from helping those in dire need of assistance, where ever they may live. I encourage all residents to reach out to one of the many international aid agencies currently on the ground in Haiti to ask how they may be able to help the rescue and relief effort.”
Residents concerned about the whereabouts of a family member may contact the State Department at 1-888-407-4747.
Concerned residents who wish to donate to the relief and rescue efforts may directly contact any of the following charitable organizations:
The American Red Cross: 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish), www.redcross.org .
UNICEF: 1-800-4UNICEF, www.unicef.org
Doctors Without Borders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org
The Center for International Disaster Information (http://www.cidi.org/incident/haiti-10a/) also has a listing of credible international emergency response agencies and charities.
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Press Release: Response and Coordination to Earth Quake
January 13, 2010 – 10:45 a.m.
The Embassy of Haiti in Washington, D.C. wishes to thank the general public and the international community for the outpour of support and the solidarity expressed in response to the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday, January 12th, 2010 just before 5:00pm. The Embassy has been continuously monitoring the situation since yesterday.
Assessment is currently being conducted, but as you already know, telephone communication is down, and internet communication is sporadic. We have been informed that aftershocks continued well through the night until approximately 3:00 o’clock this morning. Infrastructure damage is significant; the National Palace has collapsed, and the National Cathedral, many Government buildings, the U.N. Headquarters and the Hotel Montana have been severely damaged.
As you may know, Haiti was gravely affected in 2008 by a series of hurricanes, and was still, to date, recovering from the losses incurred from these natural disasters. Preliminary assessment indicates that losses will be as severe or worse than those of 2008 as a result of the 7.0 earthquake.
We are already extremely grateful for the offers of assistance that we have received, and we urge you to consider donating cash as opposed to in-kind donations. Indeed, the U.S. Office of Disaster Assistance’s information office has issued similar recommendations through their press release and guidelines.
We share the pain of our fellow citizens of the Haitian diaspora everywhere but urge them to remain faithful and strong in the face of such adversity. “United we are strong” and the Embassy will do its best to respond swiftly and efficiently. In that light, we will provide guidelines on donations to Haitian institutions later today.

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