January 19, 2010
As you know, the Caribbean island nation of Haiti suffered a massive earthquake on January 12. Casualty estimates range from 50,000 to 200,000 and the lives of millions of Haitians have been significantly affected.
Relief efforts to deliver food, water, and security to victims are ongoing. I spoke recently to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who outlined numerous efforts of the U.S. Government to deliver help. In addition, many Americans are generously providing assistance through private donations and volunteerism.
As a member of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, I am well aware of the many great challenges facing the impoverished nation of Haiti. The recent earthquake tragically compounds these challenges. At this desperate time, America is able to provide critical assistance to the Haitian people in a variety of ways.
Following is information on how to access the most recent updates on the situation in Haiti and ways you may wish to get involved. For specific inquiries regarding family members in Haiti or adoption cases, please feel free to contact my office at 402-438-1598.
For the latest updates on the situation in Haiti, visit www.state.gov/haitiquake/.
For Americans seeking information about U.S. Citizens in Haiti, call 1-888-407-4747
U.S. citizens with pending adoption cases in Haiti are requested to contact the Department of State at AskCI@state.gov for information about their adoption case. In the inquiry, please include: full name and contact information of parents, full name(s) of child(ren), date(s) of birth of child(ren) [if known], and the name and contact information of orphanage. You can find additional information about adoptions in Haiti at http://adoption.state.gov/news/Haiti.html.
The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. Information on organizations responding to the humanitarian situation in Haiti may be available at www.reliefweb.int, and at USAID: www.usaid.gov – Keyword: Donations.
U.S. citizens who wish to contribute to the relief effort for Haiti after the earthquake, either online or by text message, can visit www.WhiteHouse.gov.
The State Department helped set up a short code for those wishing to send immediate monetary assistance. To take advantage of this, people can text “HAITI” to “90999” and $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross, charged to your cell phone bill.
Additionally, persons who wish to provide assistance or expertise in Haiti are asked to contact the Center for International Disaster Information. The Center, operated under a grant from the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, has established a dedicated page to coordinate Haiti support at http://www.cidi.org/incident/haiti-10a/, 703-276-1914.
Haitian Citizens in the U.S.:
Haitian citizens in the U.S. should call the Haitian Embassy in Washington, D.C., 202-332-4090, or the Haitian Consulate in New York City, 305-859-2003.