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NZ Red Cross Telecomm's Specialists In Haiti

MEDIA RELEASE

15 September 2008

Update: New Zealand Red Cross Telecommunications Specialists In Haiti

One week into their deployment to cyclone ravaged Haiti, New Zealand Red Cross IT and Telecommunications specialists Peter Moore and Pat Maunsell are continuing to establish communications facilities to help co-ordinate the relief effort from their base in Port-au-Prince.

Both Mr Moore, from Wellington and Mr Maunsell of Christchurch are members of New Zealand Red Cross’ IT and Telecommunications Emergency Response Unit and were deployed to Haiti on 8 September to assist in quickly establishing an adequate telecommunications system that the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the Federation) will use to coordinate their disaster response project.

The duo is working with relief teams and telecommunications specialists from the Federation. On a day to day basis they are responsible for ensuring the Federation assessment teams, travelling throughout Haiti determining the needs of individuals and communities, are able to maintain effective communications.

Haiti is still reeling from the double destruction that Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna wrecked across the country in late August.

Mr Moore says that when flying into the Haiti capital of Port-au-Prince the extent of the destruction was evident with all rivers and valleys covered with mud and water. “There was no movement at all visible on the roads around the city,”he said.

Assessments by the Federation across Haiti identify that nine of the country’s ten regions have been badly affected by the two storms. The Federation has launched and appeal for NZD 5.1 million to allow the Haitian Red Cross to help 50,000 people over the next six months.

Money raised from the appeal will help deliver essential food items, first aid kits, vital medicines, clean drinking water and shelter materials to those most in need.

A rotation of New Zealand Red Cross’ aid workers in Haiti is currently being assessed, with Mr Moore and Mr Maunsell due to complete their mission in early October.


ENDS

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