, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – Kenya Airways and the Kenya Red Cross Society have launched a fund-raising initiative in support of the victims of the Haiti earthquake that left hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced from their homes in the Caribbean Island.
In the initiative, donations will be put into specially designed envelopes that will be collected by in-flight attendants at the end of every Kenya Airways flight. Kenya Airways hopes to raise the funds by encouraging passengers on both international and local flights to donate.
The airline serves over three million passengers every year and flies to over 50 destinations worldwide. Kenya Airways operates direct flights to Amsterdam, Paris and London and select destinations in Asia, including Dubai, Mumbai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
“The Kenya Red Cross Society in consultation with Kenya Airways will ensure the funds are sent to the people of Haiti, so that they can at least meet their basic needs and use the money to rebuild their country and return to normal life,” said Titus Naikuni, the airline\’s Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Kenya Airways also offers support to communities in countries that it operates; namely in the areas of education, environment, water and health as part of its contribution to the social development.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Kenya Airways passengers to get involved in supporting the people of Haiti and we are grateful to Kenya Airways for providing an avenue for its passengers to lend a hand I this effort,” said Abbas Gullet, Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General.
Mid January, this year, the Kenya Red Cross Society launched a Haiti Emergency Appeal in the country to help raise funds for those affected by an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter Scale that struck Haiti on January 12.
More than 150,000 are feared dead, thousands of casualties and widespread damage. A three-floor hospital collapsed and many other hospitals lack the capacity to admit more patients. The United Nations office in the capital city was severely damaged; many UN personnel were also killed in the incident. The Haitian National Red Cross Society headquarters which houses IFRC offices was extensively damaged.
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) estimates that up to three million people might have been affected by the earthquake – which equals one-third of the population of Haiti.
IFRC launched a preliminary emergency appeal on January 13,2010 seeking 10 million Swiss Francs (US$ 10 million; 6.8 million euro) to deliver assistance to thousands of families affected by the devastating earthquake.