Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Episcopal Relief & Development Responds to Devastating Earthquake in Haiti

For Immediate Release

DATE : 1/13/2010

Episcopal Relief & Development Responds to Devastating Earthquake in

Shortly before sundown on Tuesday, January 12, a 7.0-magnitude
earthquake hit Haiti. The quake was centered about ten miles west of
Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. At least 28 aftershocks of magnitude
4.0 or greater shook the country in the hours immediately following the

Episcopal Relief & Development has reached out to its Haitian partners
in an effort to determine the extent of the damage and coordinate a
swift response.

"The agency has already disbursed emergency funding to the Diocese of
Haiti to help them meet immediate needs such as providing shelter, food
and water, and stands ready to support their ongoing recovery as they
rebuild their ministries," said Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal
Relief & Development. "As communication improves and recovery plans
develop, Episcopal Relief & Development will continue to provide

Interim Director for International Programs Kirsten Muth commented, "We
are committed to a long-term response and recovery effort with our
partners in the Diocese of Haiti. It is one of the largest and perhaps
most socially engaged dioceses of the Episcopal Church with an extensive
network of schools and health services."

"In addition to other programming, the agency has supported the Diocesan
Development Program for many years through a central Development Office
and network of 28 development agents, all of whom have received training
in disaster response and management," Muth continued. "We know that in
the wake of this disaster, these community agents will use this training
to coordinate their efforts with local authorities."

While the full extent of the damage has yet to be determined,
preliminary reports show that Port-au-Prince has suffered severely.
Recent estimates indicate that at least three million people have been
affected by the earthquake. In addition to the destruction of
innumerable homes, many major structures have been reduced to rubble
including the presidential palace, the UN peacekeeper compound and the
nation's Diocesan headquarters.

"Even under 'normal' circumstances, Haiti struggles to care for her 9
million people. The nation is the poorest in the western hemisphere,
and this latest disaster will set back many recent efforts at
development," said Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in a
statement Wednesday morning. "I urge your concrete and immediate
prayers in the form of contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development,
who are already working with the Diocese of Haiti to send aid where it
is most needed."

To donate to the Haiti Fund, visit
or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to Episcopal
Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058. Please
put "Haiti Fund" in the memo line of all checks. In addition, Episcopal
Relief & Development is preparing a bulletin insert, which will be
available on its website.

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and
development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States and an
independent 501(c)(3) organization. The agency takes its mandate from
Jesus' words found in Matthew 25. Its programs work towards achieving
the Millennium Development Goals. Together with the worldwide Church and
ecumenical partners, Episcopal Relief & Development strengthens
communities today to meet tomorrow's challenges. We rebuild after
disasters and empower people by offering lasting solutions that fight
poverty, hunger and disease, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.

Contact: Tyla Fowler

(800) 334-7626, ext. 6311

Brian Sellers-Petersen

Director of Church Engagement

Episcopal Relief & Development


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