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Royal Caribbean pledges $1 million to help Haiti

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 16 - 2010

Royal Caribbean International announced its plan to provide at least $1 million in humanitarian aid to Haiti in response to the catastrophic earthquake in Port-Au-Prince. Royal Caribbean has had a large presence in Haiti for 30 years via its private port at Labadee.

Royal Caribbean will partner with various charitable organizations such as Food for the Poor, Pan American Development Foundation and the Solano Foundation (the company’s foundation in Haiti) to provide additional support and assistance to the citizens of Haiti. The aforementioned efforts are in addition to the line delivering supplies via ship calls at Labadee and to supplying on-going cruise business at the destination.

‘The effect of the earthquake on Haiti has been catastrophic, leaving the country in need of not only immediate support, but assistance in their long-term recovery,’ said Royal Caribbean chairman and ceo Richard Fain. He added that the company wants to do its part to help the general response and its hundreds of Haitian employees and their families.

Leslie Voltaire, special envoy of the government of Haiti to the United Nations welcomed the ‘continuation of the positive economic benefits that the cruise ship calls to Labadee contribute to our country.’
Yesterday, Independence of the Seas, offloaded supplies in Labadee that it took on in San Juan. They include rice, dried beans, powdered milk, water and canned goods. In addition, Royal Caribbean said 100 percent of the company’s net revenue from the destination will be contributed to the relief effort.

In the next two weeks, three other ships are scheduled to call with additional supplies: Navigator of the Seas on Monday, Liberty of the Seas on Tuesday and Celebrity Solstices on Jan. 22. The supplies are being distributed through Food for the Poor, a long-time partner of Royal Caribbean in Haiti.

Passengers sailing on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises will be able to donate to Food for the Poor’s Haiti Relief Fund, via a charge to their on-board account. Immediate donations may be made to http://www.foodforthepoor.org/royalcaribbean.
Royal Caribbean said a portion of its $1 million donation will augment the company’s Crew Relief Fund, which can be drawn on by any of its more than 200 Haitian crew members for assistance, as well as to match those donations.

If you would like to help Charity Navigator (charitynavigator.org) has a special section on its Web site under “Hot Topics” devoted to how people can assist the agencies that already have a presence in the region. Sending donations to an agency that already has a presence in the affected area may have a more immediate impact. For a listing of these agencies, go to www.charitynavigator.org

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