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Let’s mobilize more aid for Haiti – Loren

January 18, 2010

IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE MAGNITUDE 7 EARTHQUAKE THAT HIT HAITI RECENTLY AND MAY HAVE CAUSED AS MANY AS 200,000 FATALITIES, SEN. LOREN LEGARDA TODAY APPEALED FOR MORE AID TO THE DISASTER-STRICKEN CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRY.
Loren, who is United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Asia-Pacific, said that Haiti “needs all the help it can get to rebuild lives and restore normalcy.”
Loren made the appeal as the Philippine government prepared to dispatch a 21-member medical team to help in rescue and relief operations in Haiti. The Philippines already has a peacekeeping contingent in the country as part of its obligations to the United Nations.
Haiti is among the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere and nearly a third of structures in the capital, Port-au-Prince, has been reported leveled to the ground, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
“We must extend more humanitarian assistance to Haiti in the same way that the international community immediately sent aid to us when we were adversely affected by widespread flooding from typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng last year,” Loren said.
“This is more than compassion for other people in need. This is our obligation to the international community that has been very generous and unstinting in helping us whenever we face death and destruction from various natural disasters. The people of Haiti need help at this time and we should express our generosity in whatever way we can,” Loren said.
At the same time, Loren said, with the Philippines also vulnerable to destructive earthquakes as it lies along a major faultline, “now is the opportune time for government to review the structural soundness of all public and private infrastructure, particularly schools and hospitals, so that we can avoid the massive destruction that has taken place in Haiti.”