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Sweden Responds to UN Call to Help Haiti

Published torsdag 14 januari 2010 kl 11.11

Updated 12:30

As the world reacts to the devastating effects of the earth quake in Haiti, Swedish non-governmental organisations made a joint appeal to the public, to help fund the relief efforts.

The Swedish government has so far offered 850,000 US dollars along with tents, water purification equipment and medical aid. Answering to a call from the United Nations Disaster Assessment & Coordination UNDAC, two Swedish It-experts are also on their way with communication equipment to help build up the relief effort on the ground.

The experiences from the tsunami five year ago has helped to prepare for the international response to the disaster in Haiti, says Gunilla Carlsson, Swedish Minister for International Development coordination.

She says that after the tsunami we learnt a lot about good international donor coordination in these types of humanitarian disasters and that Sweden has been a strong driving force in the establishment of the UN coordination unit UNDAC so that the international relief effort will not only be fast but also so that everybody will know what they are supposed to do.

But, says the reporter from Swedish Radio News, two It-experts from Sweden does not seem like very much, when crisis ridden Iceland has sent 37 professionals who already have landed and started helping in the search and rescue mission.

Gunilla Carlsson repeats that Sweden is one of the biggest donors to UNDAC which sees to the the whole relief effort runs as smoothly as possible. And Sweden WILL contribute with more people and money if and when we are asked to do so, says Carlsson.

"It would be wrong and corny," says Carlsson, "if we were also trying to be as good as the Icelandics, that is what the whole coordination is about. What we learnt from the tsunami is that everybody wants someone to do something, but it has to happen in a coordinated way for the best effect and that we are not doing it for our own sake, but that we are doing it in order to help the people of Haiti."

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