Friday, January 15, 2010

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is responding to the devastating earthquake in Haiti

MCC to respond to Haiti earthquake, donations welcome

January 13, 2010

AKRON, Pa. -- Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is responding to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti late Tuesday afternoon.

Today, MCC committed $100,000 U.S. or $103,420 Cdn. for immediate needs. International Program Department Director Ron Flaming anticipates a response of at least $1 million U.S. or $1.03 Cdn. over multiple years. MCC is appealing for donations to fund these efforts.

MCC workers in Haiti include nine people from Colombia, the Netherlands and the United States; seven Haitian program staff members; and additional support staff. All program staff located in Port-au-Prince, the capital, are accounted for. Although the communications infrastructure in Haiti has been disrupted, staff members were able to send a message via the U.S. embassy. All MCC staff members who have been in touch report seeing bodies in the streets, according to Daryl Yoder-Bontrager, MCC Latin America and the Caribbean director. MCC is working to contact staff outside Port-au-Prince.

MCC is planning its response which will include short-term relief plus recovery efforts over the medium and long term. “We’re looking carefully at how we can build peace, avoid violence and do good community development at the same time,” said Yoder-Bontrager.

MCC regional disaster management coordinators Kathy and Virgil Troyer, based in Honduras, will travel to Haiti as soon as possible to help with the planning and implementation of MCC’s response. The Troyers are from Orrville, Ohio.

MCC’s work in Haiti over the past years has focused on reforestation and environmental education, human rights and advocacy for food security.

Donations to help victims of the disaster should be designated Haiti Earthquake and can be made:

* Online
* By calling toll free – 1-888-622-6337 (Canada) or 1-888-563-4676 (U.S.)
* Or by sending a cheque to your nearest MCC office.
* In Canada
* In the United States

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