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Groups join forces to help crisis-hit Haiti

Public service organisations join forces to ask the public to help crisis-hit Haiti. From left, Major Rob Kerr, the divisional commander of the Salvation Army, Ann Spencer-Arscott, the executive director of the Red Cross, Glenn Fubler of Imagine Bermuda, and Cordell Riley, the acting president of Curb ( Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Community organisations yesterday joined forces to raise cash to help earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

The Bermuda Red Cross, the Salvation Army, community group Imagine Bermuda and Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda teamed up to encourage the public to help the French-speaking Caribbean nation, which was hit by a massive earthquake about two weeks ago.

Ann Spencer-Arscott, the executive director of the Bermuda Red Cross, which has raised $15,000 for aid work in Haiti since August 16, said the charity would keep the fund open for another three months before the funds were forwarded to the UK Red Cross.

She added: “People are always so generous in Bermuda. We’re all islands so we understand the plight of people during these situations.

“I think everyone is aware that there’s so much political strife there and that everything is fragile.”

Ms Spencer-Arscott admitted that the pandemic had made it harder for people to find spare cash to donate but that “any amount is appreciated”.

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on August 14 just near Petit Trou de Nippes, a town about 150km west of the capital Port-au-Prince.

More than 2,200 people were killed and 12,268 more were injured.

At least 344 people are still missing.

Relief efforts were hindered when Tropical Storm Grace hit the island on August 16.

The natural disasters struck about a month after the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, the president, which destabilised the already fragile country.

Major Rob Kerr, the divisional commander for the Salvation Army, said that Haiti had “been in an emergency situation for a long time”.

He added that the Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda had delivered $11 million of aid to Haiti over the past 11 years – but that the country still needed help.

Major Kerr said: “There’s a lot that’s been going on to help with the current situation, but they still haven’t fully recovered down there.

“It’s a place that needs the help of its brothers and sisters around the world as part of a global community.”

Glenn Fubler, the founder of Imagine Bermuda, said that aid was a matter of “human solidarity”.

He added: “Haiti’s history has had a direct impact on our legacy of emancipation, so that makes our donation drives that much more important.”

Donations to the Bermuda Red Cross can be made to Butterfield Bank a/c 20 006 060 663859 200 or at www.bermudaredcross.com.

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Published August 27, 2021 at 7:51 am (Updated August 27, 2021 at 7:39 am)

Groups join forces to help crisis-hit Haiti

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