Cote d'lvoire mobilizes funds, foodstuffs for Haiti

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Cote d'Ivoire has decided to mobilize funds and foodstuffs to help the Haitian people, who are suffering the aftermath of the Jan. 12 devastating earthquake.

In a press statement, President Laurent Gbagbo said he was deeply touched by the Haitian tragedy and that his country had given one million U. S. dollars in emergency aid.

"Cote d'lvoire wishes to also contribute to the chain of international solidarity towards this friendly country," the press statement said.

Meanwhile, several groups have come to the aid of Haitians being in distress. The Red Cross office in Cote d'lvoire is in the process of coordinating these actions, officials say.

The women of Ebrie village (the lagoon people of the south) have gone ahead to collect attieke (a cassava meal that is highly valued by local people) and dried fish they hope to transport to Haiti.

The West African country's architects held a series of meetings in the past days for contributions to the needy after the deadly tremor.

Prayer sessions are being held every week in Abidjan's prayer centers for a spiritual support to the Haitians.

During an interview with the press on Tuesday, the Ivorian historian Jean Jacques Traore noted that the events were intimidating even in Cote d'lvoire.

"We have a responsibility to think about Haiti. They are our brothers because it was the first Republic to be founded by the black slaves," he said, asking all the sectors of the Ivorian society, be it the academia, the group of artists or NGOs, to act now vis-a-vis this tragedy in one way or another.

There are 71 lvorian police are in the contingent of the UN peacekeepers in Haiti. In addition, 20 other Ivorian nationals live there.

According to the crisis response unit of the Ivorian Foreign Ministry, no deaths have been reported among the Ivorian community living in the country, although there were slight injuries.

Several other African states have already responded to this catastrophe. Senegal has promised to send 500,000 dollars. President Abdoulaye Wade has also invited Haitians to the African soil.

Morocco and Gabon have each announced one million dollars in aid to Haiti. The Democratic Republic of Congo has released 2.5 million dollars in its assistance.

Haiti was hit by an earthquake of magnitude of 7.3 with the death toll rising to 75,000. At least 250,000 have been injured and 1.5 million people left homeless.

A number of countries in the world have sent rescue teams to help survivors out of the rubbles, treat the injured and distribute foodstuffs.

On Wednesday, Haiti was hit by another powerful after-shock tremor measuring magnitude 6.1.

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