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Caritas launches appeal to fund relief in flood-stricken Haiti

Caritas Internationalis has launched a major appeal to provide the $A1.3 million required to fund relief efforts in flood-stricken Haiti.

The money it is seeking in funding and donations will provide supplies to tens of thousands of people left homeless by a string of powerful tropical storms.

Mudslides triggered by heavy flooding killed more than 1000 people and injured 100,000 more in Haiti after Tropical Storm Jeanne hit the island in the past fortnight.

"The hardest-hit region is the city of Gonaives and the surrounding area. ... The damage was catastrophic for residents, all of whose homes and buildings were flooded, some beyond repair," it said.

The UN World Food Program estimated some 175,000 people in Haiti have been left without food, water and electricity.

Caritas said the emergency funding would supply kitchen utensils, sleeping bags, tents, medicine, chlorine and clean drinking water to 2,000 families in three different parts of Haiti.

A Caritas emergency response team also has been dispatched to help local Caritas officials assess further needs.

Though not as powerful as other hurricanes and tropical storms this year, Jeanne has been the deadliest and is considered to be the worst tropical storm to have swept across the Caribbean in more than a decade.

Haiti has been especially hard hit this year; in May, floods killed more than 1000 people and destroyed many towns and villages. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere; 80% of the nation's people live below the poverty line.

It is expected that Caritas Australia make an announcement about an appeal for Haiti in coming days.

Caritas launches appeal to fund relief in flood-stricken Haiti (Catholic News Service 23/9/04)

Haiti Storm Death Toll Could Reach 2,000 (Associated Press/ABC America 23/9/04)
Troops Guard Relief Operations in Flood-Hit Haiti (Reuters 23/9/04)
Caritas Responds to Haiti Hurricane Crisis (Caritas Internationalis 23/9/04)
Christian Aid warns of further devastation Haiti (Ekklesia 23/9/04)
Death toll mounts after Tropical Storm Jeanne causes floods in Haiti (Catholic News Service 21/9/04)
Caritas Australia

24 Sep 2004