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earthquake rescue

Swedish Aid to Haiti

Published onsdag 13 januari 2010 kl 08.52

Updated 17:00

It was announced on Wednesday afternoon that two Swedish IT experts will be despatched to Port-au-Prince in Haiti to assist the UN disaster assessment team, Undac.

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency said on Wednesday morning that it has received a request from the United Nations to send help to Haiti, following the earthquake there. The quake, which measured 7.0 on the Richter scale, has devastated the country, and the capital Port-au-Prince, is said to be in ruins.

The agency’s press secretary Karin Wiklund said they are working full out. Because of the long distance between Sweden and Haiti, she said, Sweden will probably not be taking part in any direct search and rescue work, which can be better handled by countries closer to the region.

Sida, the Swedish International Development Coordination Agency, wrote in a press release on Wednesday that they will allocate just over 850,000 US dollars for immediate use to aid Haiti. They also gave the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency 70,000 dollars to kickstart their help to the country and has reserved another 2,8 million dollars for the agency's continued work in the area.  

On Wednesday afternoon the Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed that they have records of 10 Swedes in Haiti at the time of the earthquake, but said that accuracy of the figure was somewhat uncertain.

"We have spoken to 7 so far and are trying to get in touch with the remainder", said Barbro Elm at the Foreign Ministry Information Department.

There are around 400 Swedish tourists in the neighboring Dominican Republic, which also felt the quake. However, according to travel operator Fritidsresor, there has been no damage in the area where their travellers are staying.

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