September 24 2004
SOS Children's Villages joins forces with WFP to provide relief aid for Gonaives
Port au Prince, Haiti (24 September 2004) - SOS Children's Villages will assist the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in providing humanitarian relief aid to the northern Haitian city of Gonaives, which was devastated by heavy flooding following tropical storm Jeanne. As a result of the natural catastrophe, more than 1,000 people are currently reported dead, hundreds are missing and thousands are in desperate need of food, water and medication.
SOS Children's Villages will be providing the WFP with cooking utensils and kitchen equipment, such as pots, pans, plates, cutlery and gas cylinders. These items are urgently needed by the WFP, who have sufficient food and medication for the region and are setting up several feeding points to provide meals to those affected by disaster. "The most essential thing is to ensure that those affected are provided with food and water, and to prevent the outbreak of epidemics," said José Pereyra, the national director of SOS Children's Villages in Haiti.
Five youths in the care of SOS Children's Villages in Haiti will be travelling to Gonaives with the WFP, and will be helping with the distribution of this urgently required aid. Access by land to the region is still not possible, but the WFP has air access to the disaster zone, where an estimated 80% of 225,000 inhabitants have been severely affected by flooding.
SOS Children's Villages operates two facilities in Haiti in Cap Haitien and Santo, which were spared any serious damage. These two facilities are currently on stand-by to assist children and families in the neighbourhood who have been affected by the catastrophe.
It is believed that many children in Haiti have lost their families as a result of the disaster. Pereyra said: "We are certain that our SOS families will be prepared to take in the highest possible number of children in our SOS Children's Villages, despite already being full to capacity."
SOS Children's Villages is a non-governmental and non-denominational organisation providing long-term care for destitute, abandoned and orphaned children in 132 countries and territories. More than 55,000 children are being cared for at the organisation's 449 SOS Children's Villages and 328 youth facilities worldwide. In addition, the organisation also provides families with welfare and educational services. Some 130,000 children and youths attend SOS Schools, SOS Kindergartens and SOS Vocational Training Centres, while more than 650,000 benefit from SOS Medical and Social Centres and SOS Emergency Relief Programmes. The umbrella organisation SOS-Kinderdorf International has its international headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria. Contact
Adriana Pontieri - Press Officer
Tel: (43-1) 368 24 57-0 firstname.lastname@example.org