16 Jan 2010

NZ responds to earthquake scenes

7:29 pm on 16 January 2010

New Zealand has reacted with compassion to the scenes coming out of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.

Large parts of the city were rendered uninhabitable by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday.

The Government has pledged $1 million in aid.

Oxfam says it has raised $120,000 and the Red Cross raised at least $73,000 by late Friday. Save the Children had raised $120,000.

TEAR Fund New Zealand says it has released an initial $50,000 but

says it has not been able to make contact with 582 Haitian children sponsored by New Zealanders.

The organisation's international programme manager, Esther Duchai, says they have managed to account for most of the 40 staff reported missing on Thursday.

Ms Duchai said on Friday that the only communication she had since received from a Tearfund representative in Haiti was via a text message, which said food and water were needed urgently.