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HelpAge Staff Mobilizes for Older People Despite Challenges in Haiti
Date:1/17/2010

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of the HelpAge regional office in Jamaica and the emergency response team from London arrived today in Haiti to reinforce relief efforts for the countless older individuals and others who are suffering from the disaster. They are accompanied by ALA Dominicana, the HelpAge partner from the Dominican Republic, who is bringing in mobile medical units.

Though the HelpAge office in Port au Prince was badly damaged, local staff is already proceeding with the job of assessing the immediate needs of the older survivors.  "The challenges are daunting, but we are currently assessing needs in areas hit by the quake," says Marilyn Grist, Executive Director of HelpAge USA.  "Our response will include emergency healthcare, relief supplies, temporary shelter and counseling."

HelpAge is working closely with established partners on the ground.  Bertin Meance, Emergencies Programme Officer in Haiti, says, "I look forward to welcoming the additional HelpAge emergency staff.  Together we will reach the older people, a group that can get left behind and forgotten in a catastrophe of this magnitude."

"Working through partners on the ground is a very important priority for HelpAge. It means we support local people and use local resources, maintaining long term capacity and reducing dependency," explained Grist.  "HelpAge has been working with local partners in Haiti for several years. We have helped local communities prepare for natural disasters and reduce the risks of a disaster."  

To learn more about what HelpAge USA is doing to help respond to the Haiti earthquake, or to make a donation to the Haiti Emergency Response Fund, visit www.helpageusa.org or send a check to HelpAge USA at 4750 41st St, Suite 410, Washington DC 20016.  

HelpAge USA

HelpAge USA, an affiliate of HelpAge International, builds awareness of global aging issues among US audiences; advocates for the empowerment of older, vulnerable adults in the developing world; and raises funds to support the programs of the HelpAge network. HelpAge International helps older people around the world lead full and secure lives. It is the only global network focused on the needs and rights of vulnerable older people.

SOURCE HelpAge USA

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