BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – DR. REGINALD O’LOUGHLIN, President of the St. Kitts Red Cross (SKRC), is asking the Kittitian public to donate funds to the Haitian relief effort via account #2604000000014247 at the Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.
By doing so, persons will become part of a worldwide fundraising effort administered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). According to O’Loughlin, Red Cross branches across the globe have set up similar accounts to aid the impoverished nation, which is still reeling from a devastating January 12 earthquake that killed almost 200 000 persons and left two million homeless.
“How the system works is that the money from each of these individual accounts will be sent to the account of the ICRC, which is headquartered in Switzerland. The ICRC will then use the funds to procure the most essential supplies for the Haitian people.”
The SKRC President assured persons hesitant to contribute, due to fears of being conned, that there was a mechanism to ensure transparency of the relief effort.
“After the money has been donated, the ICRC will give each branch the necessary documents to show that we did contribute a specific amount and to inform us of what exactly the funds we sent are being used for,” he noted. “That documentation would be shown to our sponsors so they know their money was well-spent.”
The first SKRC donation, totalling at just over EC$102 000, will be sent later this week. O’Loughlin identified TDC, SL Horsfords, the National NGO Coalition, Antioch Baptist Church and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Staff Association as the major contributors to the fund, with each entity donating at least EC$5 000.
He added that the account would be open indefinitely and encouraged persons to continue giving what they could.
“My initial target was to raise EC$100 000 and that has been met. But there is so much more we can and should do, because Haiti is still in a period of massive rebuilding. In fact, the Haitian people will still need our help weeks and years from now. So I hope persons will make further contributions with that in mind,” O’Loughlin appealed.
In the aftermath of disaster situations, the ICRC normally deploys regional intervention teams comprised of volunteers that are specifically trained in certain disaster relief areas, including Relief Distribution and Water Sanitation, or First Aid.
O’Loughlin disclosed that SKRC Branch Director Natalie Fough, who is trained in First Aid, is on standby to join the hundreds of other Red Cross volunteers in the stricken country.