Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

Cash fears scupper Haiti rescue mission

Rescuers work in Haiti following the earthquake
Rescuers from all over the world are in Haiti to help the rescue effort

A Scottish-based rescue charity has decided not to join the earthquake aid effort in Haiti because the mission would have left it bankrupt.

The International Rescue Corps (IRC) warned on Wednesday that it needed more funds to be able to send a team.

The IRC's Derek Jolly said the organisation was "devastated" it could not join the search and rescue mission.

Up to 50,000 people are feared dead after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday.

There has been a huge international response to the disaster, which the UN estimated had affected about 3.5m people.

The IRC, based in Grangemouth, wanted to send a team to help the search for survivors, but has only £30,000 left in the bank.

It would cost at least £35,000 to send a team to the region.

Mr Jolly, 39, said the charity had to consider its long-term future.

'Horrible week'

"It's a decision that was very, very hard to come to," he said.

"It's been a horrible week for us. It was a difficult decision, but hopefully it's been the right one and now we have to make sure the funds are there for the next time."

Mr Jolly told the BBC Scotland news website a local businessman had approached the corps and offered them £5,000 if they were able to go to Haiti immediately, but they had turned the cash down.

"It made up the money we needed, but we would still come back bankrupt. As an organisation we can't afford to do this," he said.

The IRC will now explore other ways of raising funds in an attempt to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on donations.

Mr Jolly added: "I'm really devastated that we're not going, but we have to play out the long game."

The IRC was formed in 1981 after the 1980 earthquake in Italy which claimed the lives of almost 3,000 people.

Since then the charity was helped with disaster relief all over the globe, most recently in Indonesia in October after the earthquake in Sumatra.



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