A week after Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti, the island is facing a mammoth humanitarian crisis.
Haitian authorities report close to 1 000 deaths and the destruction of close to 30 000 houses, even as a full damage assessment is yet to be concluded.
“It’s an emergency that needs a worldwide response,” the United Nations said on Monday.
Media partners Barbados TODAY and Capital Media HD99.3FM have heard the call and are hoping, with the support of Barbadians and their regional and international audiences, to provide a substantial financial contribution to the rebuilding process.
On Saturday, October 22, the two entities will team up to host the Help Haiti Today Radiothon at the station’s studios at the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, Holetown, St James.
“We will try to raise money from you the public, members of the business community, from the people of Barbados, from people who feel that pain and recognize that the people of Haiti have had a very long, difficult and torturous journey and that this devastation is not something that we would have wished upon ourselves,” chief executive officer of Capital Media,Vic Fernandes told this morning’s launch.
The radiothon is being undertaken in conjunction with the Rotary Clubs of Barbados, which successfully spearheaded a similar initiative for Haiti after the catastrophic January 2010 earthquake.
Vice president of Rotary Clubs of Barbados, Brenda Pope appealed to the public to stand in solidarity with their Haitian brothers and sisters.
“As Rotarians, this is part of what we do . . . and we are so pleased again to be helping to spearhead and to be in front of this effort to find and raise money for our fellow citizens in Haiti who have unfairly been devastated again by this Hurricane Matthew,” she said.
The Limegrove Lifestyle Centre immediately got the ball rolling. General manager Patricia McKenzie today donated $5 000 to the relief effort.
“We are very happy to be part of this initiative and to show how we can all give back. We do hope that by pledging we will be able to assist in the rebuilding of Haiti. We invite everyone to participate in this worthwhile venture,” she said.
Republic Bank has also come on board and its representative Solange Bruce encouraged Barbadians to give generously at the bank’s 10 locations to the Help Haiti Today Relief Fund – account number 1783 2170 2002.
“It could have been us. . . . One day it could be us, so I just want to challenge every Barbadian to come on board,” Bruce urged.
Fernandes said the radiothon has already received support from the Barbados Chamber of Commerce, FLOW and other entities.