Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Senator Gillibrand's Haiti update

Dear Colleagues,

I am continuing to provide you daily updates on Haiti relief. My website is being continuously updated with helpful information for finding loved ones or trying to donate: gillibrand.senate.gov/newsroom/haiti

Update on Haiti Relief

o 12,085 have been evacuated to date. A total of 20,650 Americans have been accounted for.

o There are 71 confirmed American fatalities and another 21 reported.
o 134 people have been rescued from the rubble.
o 700 orphans destined for the U.S. have been located by the U.S. Embassy team, with 500 of them vetted as appropriate for adoption.
o 460 of these children have travel documents, and the rest are awaiting permission of the Haitian government.
o The medical situation has improved, with 2178 treated. While right after the initial earthquake, the medical teams were seeing 70% of the patients for surgery, that number has diminished to 30%, with the rest receiving treatment for communicable diseases.
o Over 3 million food rations have been distributed, with food and water being available within 1-2 miles of most Haitian citizens, although reports of hunger continue.
o Supplies coming are from, and medical attention is being provided in, the Dominican Republic; although road erosion is providing new challenges.

For More Information on Adoptions, please see below:

Current Categories of Orphan Eligibility for Humanitarian Parole.
o Pre-existing relationship with US parents
o Parents have been deemed suitable as parents
o Children were actually available for adoption (Haitian govt recognizes the kids as orphans).

Haitian orphanages or adoptive families do not need to come to the U.S. Embassy for an initial review; such travel is only necessary at the time of delivery of travel documents. If an orphanage has not yet been contacted by Department of State, let the Department know.

No children who had not been in the adoption process prior to the earthquake are being processed for adoption at this point.

Website where people can communicate about vulnerable children in Haiti: haitianchildrenUSAID@usaid.gov . The U.S. is working closely with a child protection working group being led by UNICEF, with the participation of local non-profits to prevent trafficking of children and support identification/reunification of children who have been separated from their families.

Warm regards,
Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand

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