Americus, Ga. - Jan. 18 - The world’s foremost nonprofit housing organization is appealing to its supporters to help families recover from the recent earthquake in El Salvador. Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) has begun planning to build safe, simple, decent homes in the near future for families affected by the disaster.
While relief organizations help people with their immediate needs for medical attention, food, water and temporary shelter, Habitat’s Disaster Response division will be preparing to build houses when the time is right for rebuilding communities.
“Our hearts go out to everyone whose lives have been devastated by this catastrophe,” said Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International. “Backed by the generosity of our supporters around the world, Habitat for Humanity can put many hands to work for the people of El Salvador.”
At least 600 people were killed and thousands of families were left homeless by the earthquake that struck Jan. 13. More than 45,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, leaving families seeking shelter at public parks and outdoor sports stadiums.
Habitat for Humanity affiliates have built more than 1,200 houses across El Salvador, each designed to withstand natural disasters. These houses are constructed of fired clay bricks or concrete blocks, with fiber cement sheeting or concrete tile roofs. No reports had been received Wednesday of structural damage to Habitat houses in El Salvador or other affected nations.
HFHI plans to send an emergency appeal to its supporters Jan. 26. Previous appeals in the aftermath of disasters have resulted in generous responses. For example, HFHI has built 1,042 houses in Honduras, 154 houses in Dominican Republic, 3,067 houses in Guatemala, and 237 houses in Nicaragua in response to the devastation spread by Hurricane Mitch.
“This catastrophe as far as housing damages is greater than that caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998,” said Jesse Patino, HFHI’s International Program Advisor in El Salvador.
Those wishing to donate funds to the Salvadoran disaster response effort may send funds to:
Habitat for Humanity International. 121 Habitat St. Americus, GA 31709 Donors should add this information to checks: “El Salvador Earthquake 2001.”To donate by phone, call (229) 924-6935 or visit our website at www.habitat.org  to donate online.
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary year, Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 2,000 communities in 76 nations have built and sold more than 100,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.