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President Carter featured in new Habitat for Humanity PSA

Former President Jimmy Carter, Habitat for Humanity
launch new tsunami public service announcement campaign

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AMERICUS, Ga. (May 31, 2005) – Habitat for Humanity International in early June will launch a new PSA campaign to raise awareness about continuing needs in the tsunami-affected areas throughout Asia. Narrated by former President Jimmy Carter, the spots will be distributed to 550 television stations, up to 2,000 radio stations and 50 additional Spanish or bilingual television stations will receive a Spanish language version.

“The public needs to be aware that, although we may not hear about the loss and destruction in the news any more, the families without homes who are still living in crowded camps have not disappeared,” said Chris Clarke, Habitat’s senior vice president of communications. “We are extremely thankful that we have people like President Carter in our corner to help spread the important message that there is still a desperate need for help in tsunami-affected areas and Habitat’s commitment is, as always, long-term.”

With the unremitting support of President Carter, donors and other partners, Habitat will expand its work in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Within three months of the disaster, donations to Habitat’s tsunami recovery had reached US$40 million and plans are in place to assist up to 35,000 families to achieve simple, decent shelter over the next two years.

“As an organization, Habitat for Humanity is focused on making an ongoing effort,” said Steve Weir, vice president for Habitat’s Asia-Pacific area. “Rebuilding entire communities will take much longer than the few seconds it took the tsunami to sweep them away. We have been working tirelessly in Asia turning despair into houses and hope, and we will continue to do so until we reach our goal.”

As many as five million people are displaced and in need of basic services as a result of the earthquake-tsunami catastrophe that struck Dec. 26, 2004. Habitat Technical Centers have been established throughout Asia to create jobs and teach new skills. The training provided at these centers will help more people rebuild their own houses, communities and lives.

Other Public Service Announcements can be viewed on-line.

Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit mortgages.