Haiti Slammed by Four Severe Storms; Women’s Organization Launches Emergency Response With Local Groups

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2008 12:13 PM
CONTACT: MADRE
Diana Duarte, Media Coordinator
(212) 627-0444; media@madre.org

Haiti Slammed by Four Severe Storms; Women’s Organization Launches Emergency
Response With Local Groups

NEW YORK – September 8 – With the impact of Hurricane Ike over the weekend, Haiti
has been hit by four severe storms in less than four weeks. The most recent heavy
flooding has killed another 50 people, pushing the death toll over the past month
above 600 people.

In the town of Gonaives-much of which is now under water-200,000 people have been
stranded without food or drinking water for as many as four days. In total, nearly
one million people, including 300,000 children, have been affected by these storms.

Vivian Stromberg, MADRE Executive Director, said today, “Haiti is already reeling
from the impacts of the global food crisis, with much of the population made
vulnerable. These back-to-back storms only worsen an already life-threatening
situation for women and their families, and the numbers of those killed and
displaced give us a glimpse of that
devastation.”

In response to the crisis, MADRE has mobilized an emergency response. MADRE is
working through two local partner organizations in Haiti: KOFAVIV, a women’s support
group in Port-au-Prince; and Zanmi Lasante, a community clinic serving people in
Gonaives and Haiti’s Central Plateau.

In the worst-affected areas of Haiti, bridges, roads, clinics, and homes have been
washed away. With critical infrastructure destroyed, rescue workers cannot reach
people in need.

In contrast, MADRE’s partners are already on the ground in areas hard-hit by these
storms. They know who the most vulnerable people in the community are and how to
reach them in chaotic flood conditions. The strong, pre-existing social networks
created by these local groups are a critical resource in today’s disaster relief.
Furthermore, working through a women’s organization helps ensure that aid reaches
children and other vulnerable community members. By collaborating with local
organizations, MADRE is able to get urgent aid into the hands of people who need it
most.

MADRE is collecting donations for plastic sheeting, food aid, water jugs,
broad-spectrum antibiotics, water treatment to prevent cholera outbreaks and other
emergency relief. For more information, visit www.madre.org.

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MADRE is an international women’s human rights organization that works in
partnership with community-based women’s organizations worldwide to address issues
of health and reproductive rights, economic development, education, and other human
rights. MADRE provides resources, training, and support to enable our sister
organizations to meet concrete needs in their communities while working to shift the
balance of power to promote long-term development and social justice. Since we began
in 1983, MADRE has delivered nearly 25 million dollars worth of support to
community-based women’s organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle
East, Africa, Asia, the Balkans, and the United States.
For more information about MADRE, visit our website at www.madre.org.

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