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NEWS RELEASE: Operation USA Readies Airlifts for Haiti

Jan 15th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OPERATION USA READIES EMERGENCY MEDICAL AID FOR HAITI FOLLOWING EARTHQUAKE

STRONG SHOW OF PUBLIC AND CORPORATE SUPPORT;
FIRST AIRLIFT PLANNED FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 14, 2010)—Los Angeles-based International relief agency Operation USA has seen great public response to their call for aid for Haiti in the response to the catastrophic earthquake that struck near Port-au-Prince on Tuesday. Corporate support has also been strong and includes to date: medical supplies and pharmaceuticals; shelter supplies, including tents, sleeping mats and collapsible water bladders; water purification systems; vitamins and nutritional supplements; electric generators and toys;

An initial airlift of emergency medical supplies, including large quantities of broad-spectrum antibiotics is slated to leave Los Angeles early next week. Two million water purification tablets have been ordered, and will be flown in directly from the manufacturer. Long-term local partner L’Athetique du Haiti is still working to assess the damage done to their infrastructure and the children they work with.

Even with the strong initial outpouring of support, Operation USA continues to appeal for donations of funds from the public. This is the worst earthquake to hit Haiti in 200 years—and as many as three million people have been directly affected. The death toll is still to be tallied, but is feared to be as high as 50,000. With the enormous scale of devastation seen in Haiti, the relief efforts will be in effect for some time to come. The organization also calls for bulk corporate donations of health care materials, which it will ship to the region from its base in the Port of Los Angeles. Honeywell Corporation and United Airlines are assisting OpUSA with cargo shipping.

HOW TO HELP:
Donate online at www.opusa.org, by phone at 1.800.678.7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave, Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.

About Operation USA
Operation USA is an international relief agency that helps communities at home and abroad overcome the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief, reconstruction and development aid. Since 1979, the Los Angeles-based Operation USA has worked in 99 countries, delivering over $350 million for relief and development projects.

Haiti ranks as one of the least developed countries in the world and is the poorest in the western hemisphere. According to the World Food Program more than half of the population lives on less than $1 per day and chronic malnutrition is widespread. The series of storms in 2008 paired with a 50% rise in food costs exacerbated the already dire circumstance, leaving many impoverished Haitians without access to basic food and nutrition. Malnutrition remains at crisis level for those most vulnerable, especially children.

Operation USA has worked in Haiti with local partners—with intensified efforts and dedicated programs in place following the 2008 storms. Operation USA is currently partnering with local Haitian NGO L’Athletique d’Haiti, and supports their food program which serves children from some of the most destitute areas of Port au Prince and surrounding provinces. The Haitian Nurses Association and additional local groups will receive relief cargo in Haiti and assist in its distribution.

Operation USA offers enormous thanks to our corporate donors including: Adoodle, Inc., Americas Regent, Apotex Corp., CAMSS Shelters, Cascade Designs, Dava Pharmaceuticals, Honeywell Hometown Solutions, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc., PL Developments and United Airlines.

Learn more and make secure donations at www.opusa.org.

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Media Contact:
Alison Deknatel, Director of Communications, Operation USA
310.838.3455 or adeknatel@www.opusa.org