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Earthquake-relief donations now worth double

Thursday, January 14, 2010

WATERLOO, Ont. – Cash donations to Haitian earthquake-relief efforts are now worth twice as much.

The federal government announced Thursday it would match up to $50 million any donations made by Canadians to eligible charities that are assisting relief efforts.

FaithLife Financial – a not-for-profit, member-based, financial-services organization focused on helping Christians build a better world – also announced it had contributed $10,000 to World Vision’s emergency appeal and would match donations up to $25,000 in the coming weeks.

Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) reported supporters have already donated nearly $33,000.

“Immediate aid is critical and we know that World Vision has more than 370 relief staff already on the ground working to deliver immediate relief,” said Dr. Dieter Kays, president and CEO of FaithLife Financial, in a press release.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti and we pray that our contribution, combined with other international aid, will help rebuild lives.”

The pledge means FaithLife financial has pledged up to $35,000 in contributions. Excluding its $10,000 donation, the organization could raise more than $50,000 thanks to its matching-funds pledge.

On Tuesday, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hammered Haiti, a country of about million people located southeast of Cuba.

Nobody knows how many have died, but news reports state bodies are lining the roads of Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital city.

According to one CNN news report, Rene Preval, Haitian president, estimated the death toll at 50,000. Meantime, the country’s prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, said the death toll could be in the hundreds of thousands.

Lawrence Cannon, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, said Thursday Canadians are among the dead, and he offered condolences to grieving families.

He said the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is playing a key role in the federal government’s plans.

“CIDA will allocate these funds to established Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations that have an established presence in Haiti,” said Cannon, in a ministerial statement.

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