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LWR Health Kits, Layettes Arrive in Haiti as Relief Efforts Ramp Up
Date:1/26/2010

BALTIMORE, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lutheran World Relief's first shipment of health kits and layettes to Haiti has arrived safely.

"Our partners at Church World Service (CWS) have confirmed the shipment has arrived and will be distributed immediately to the people who need it," says Trevor Knoblich, LWR's Program Coordinator for Emergency Response.

The shipment, sent jointly by LWR and CWS, contained health kits and layettes from LWR, and blankets and medicine from CWS. The items will be distributed to survivors of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12. Meanwhile, LWR has appealed to its U.S. supporters to increase donations of quilts and kits in order to meet the needs in Haiti and around the world.

In partnership and coordination with fellow members of the Action by Churches Together (ACT) International global aid alliance, LWR continues working to bring water, food, shelter and other essential aid to earthquake survivors.

ACT partners Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) are working to distribute water and secure sanitation for displaced Haitians. LWF is working in four cities outside of Port-au-Prince to provide food, access to water and sanitation, temporary shelter and other materials to more than 19,000 people. Partners at NCA are focusing on the Bel Air section of Port-au-Prince and Cite de Soleil, providing access to water and sanitation to people affected by the earthquake.

Christian Aid, another ACT partner working on the ground, is distributing food to families in the area of Delma, one of the most heavily affected areas of Port-au-Prince. So far, CA has reached 200 families with food and will work to reach more.

"Thanks to the generosity of our U.S. donors, LWR is able to support these relief efforts to meet the immediate needs of the people of Haiti," said LWR president John Nunes. "At the same time, the overwhelming show of compassion from U.S. Lutherans allows LWR to start planning a long-term response."

LWR has pledged a long-term commitment in Haiti of at least three to five years, focusing mainly on underserved rural areas outside Port-au-Prince. The earthquake also affected many of these areas, and even those communities that did not sustain damage in the quake will be strained by the anticipated migration of hundreds of thousands of people leaving the Port-au-Prince area. The northern department of Artibonite, where LWR has worked for 14 years, is seeing the largest influx of migrants from Port-au-Prince, putting a significant strain on an area with already limited resources and infrastructure.

Working with local partners and communities in this long term rehabilitation phase, LWR will help communities restore damaged infrastructure, regain agricultural production, strengthen local organizations so that they can respond to future disasters, and help people in underserved rural communities rebuild their livelihoods.

"The road to recovery for the people of Haiti will be a long one and the work is just beginning," adds Nunes. "Lutheran World Relief is committed to seeing this work through and helping the people of Haiti grow stronger and more self-sufficient."

WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945.

SOURCE Lutheran World Relief

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SOURCE Lutheran World Relief
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