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Hurricane Tomas Hits Haiti, Increasing Risk of Cholera Outbreak

 American Refugee Committee Teams Assist People Who Have Endured "The Unimaginable"

Minneapolis, MN (November 6, 2010) —

Hurricane Tomas struck yet another damaging blow to the people of Haiti.  The heavy rains and wind compounded an already precarious situation, where more than one million people remain homeless after a massive January earthquake.  The country is also in the midst of fighting a cholera outbreak which killed 440 people.
 
The American Refugee Committee manages four camps which house more than 80,000 people who lost their homes in the quake.  One of the camps, Camp Corail-Cesselesse, lies on a flood plain and was considered at-risk. The team helped evacuate vulnerable residents from Corail, including pregnant women and the elderly.  The team also provided food and other relief supplies to residents.
 
“For months, we have been working with the people of Haiti to prepare for a hurricane, and are ready to help them rebuild,” said Daniel Wordsworth, President of the American Refugee Committee.  “We are also working to prevent the spread of cholera, which could worsen with the polluted waters and unsanitary conditions brought on by the hurricane.”
 
To avert a cholera outbreak, the American Refugee Committee team is continuing to distribute soap and messages on how to prevent the disease.  They are also constructing a cholera treatment unit where staff are ready to administer oral-rehydration treatment to people suffering from cholera symptoms.  
 
“The people of Haiti have endured the unimaginable this year, with an earthquake, a cholera outbreak, and now a hurricane,” added Wordsworth.  “It is a critical time.  We will continue to work with them every day to save lives.”
 
ABOUT THE AMERICAN REFUGEE COMMITTEE in HAITI:  In Haiti, the American Refugee Committee provides services in four camps which house more than 80,000 people who lost their homes in the earthquake.  In partnership with the people of Haiti, we provide camp management, health care, shelter, clean water and sanitation, cash-for-work opportunities, and safe spaces for women and children.
 
ABOUT THE AMERICAN REFUGEE COMMITTEE:    American Refugee Committee programs are built from the ground up.  We work with people at the most vulnerable points in their lives, when they have lost everything to war or disaster.  They let us know what they need most, and we work together to develop ways to help them get it.  Our programs are as diverse as the people we serve, but they all work together for the same goal:  to help people take back control of their lives.  We help nearly 2.5 million people a year through programs around the world.

Press contact:
Therese Gales, American Refugee Committee (800) 875-7060, ThereseG@ARChq.org

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