Haiti needs our help

The Caribbean island of Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake on January 12.

A devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, has claimed many lives. The estimated death toll is expected to surpass 100, 000 people. The International Red Cross is estimating that 3 million people will need emergency aid.

Organizations around the world are lending a hand.

Here are some ways you can help:

Canadian Red Cross-1-800-418-1111/www.redcross.ca

World Vision Canadawww.worldvision.ca

Humanity Firstwww.humanityfirst.ca

Plan Canadawww.plancanada.ca

Unicef Canadawww.unicef.ca

Humanitarian Coalition (comprised of CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec and Save the Children Canada)-www.thehumanitariancoalition.ca

Salvation Army-1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769)/www.salvationarmy.ca

UJA Federation-United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Greater Toronto and Combined Jewish Appeal of Montreal-www.ujadonations.com

Foreign Affairsand International Trade Canada explains why you should donate cash instead of goods:

-Cash donations are the fastest, most efficient way to get help to people living in a disaster zone. They allow relief agencies to purchase quickly supplies based on the specific needs of the affected population.

-Cash donations allow relief agencies to purchase goods and services in the affected country or neighbouring areas. Your financial contribution, in other words, is helping to 1) get aid to affected populations as quickly as possible, and 2) regenerate the local economy, which may have been seriously affected by the disaster.

-In most cases, it is more cost-effective to purchase goods locally than to airlift supplies from far away, as fuel and aircraft costs can be very high. In addition, local goods can be purchased in much less time than it takes to organize the logistics of an airlift from a distant country.

-Culturally familiar goods can respond to humanitarian needs, as well as provide a small sense of comfort or normalcy to traumatized and displaced populations, which foreign, unfamiliar goods may not.

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