Belfast Telegraph

Extra funds pledged to help Haiti

The Government has pledged half a million euro and an emergency shipment of humanitarian supplies to hurricane-hit Haiti.

The aid will support thousands of people left without shelter and help fight the cholera epidemic which is sweeping the Caribbean country.

Peter Power, minister for overseas development, ordered the transport of 40 metric tonnes of tents and tarpaulins from stocks in Panama.

They will be distributed on the ground by Concern and the International Organisation for Migration.

The 500,000 euro in funding, donated by taxpayers through Irish Aid, will be given to Plan Ireland and Goal to support the provision of clean water, sanitation and hygiene equipment to those who were left homeless by January's earthquake.

Health workers on the ground fear the recent heavy rains are exacerbating the country's cholera outbreak.

Mr Power said: "The effects of the devastating earthquake which struck Haiti last January have been compounded by a cholera epidemic and last week's hurricane.

"In effect, an already extremely difficult situation has been made even worse. We have a duty to help the thousands of families who are suffering as a result."

The shipment and the additional donation brings the total amount allocated by the Irish Government to 7.6 million euro to the earthquake of January 12, which left 230,000 dead and over one million homeless. It is due is due to leave Panama this evening and arrive in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday.

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