The American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, CARE and Other Partners Continue to Improve Housing Options for Earthquake-Ravaged Haiti

ATLANTA (April 13, 2010) —With $3.8 million in funding from the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and other groups yesterday began assembling more than 13,000 additional emergency shelter kits for Haitians left homeless following the devastating January 12 earthquake.   A donation of $250,000 from the Atlanta-based humanitarian organization CARE also is helping to make these kits possible.

The kits, containing tools and tarps to help families make immediate repairs or build temporary shelters in Haiti, are being assembled this week near Atlanta.  They will be shipped and distributed in the Port-au-Prince area ahead of the peak of the rainy season in May.  

“Shelter is one of the greatest needs in Haiti, especially with the rainy season upon us,” says Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. “We are so pleased to be partnering again with Habitat for Humanity in order to provide basic, temporary shelter for people who lost so much as a result of the earthquake.” 

In total, Habitat for Humanity and its partners will distribute more than 21,000 kits – enough to help more than 100,000 survivors of the Haiti earthquake.  Approximately 8,500 kits were assembled in Atlanta and the Dominican Republic in February. 

The emergency shelter kits are part of the first phase of a  three-fold response to improve the housing conditions of 50,000 affected families.  The next phases include providing thousands with transitional and reconstruction shelter solutions. 

As part of the second-phase of its response, Habitat for Humanity has already begun to clear away debris from home sites, erect transitional shelters and organize unaffected families to host affected families.  A Habitat transitional shelter includes earthquake- and hurricane-resistant features.  They also accommodate an average of five family members, in keeping with globally-accepted standards. Transitional shelters can be recycled or upgraded into permanent housing.  

The Red Cross is working on all three phases of shelter in Haiti, including distributing tarps and tents now to those left homeless by the earthquake, and then moving into transitional and subsequently permanent shelter. 

The United Nations’ sponsored Shelter Cluster estimates that 105,000 houses were destroyed and more than 208,000 houses were damaged as a result of the 7.0-magnitue earthquake.  More than 1.3 million people are homeless or displaced.

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