17 Jan 2010

Quake victim says recovery of daughter's body priority

5:05 pm on 17 January 2010

The family of a New Zealand woman who survived the Haiti earthquake says her priority is the continued search for and recovery of her daughter's body.

Emily Sanson-Rejouis' husband, Emmanuel Rejouis, and their two eldest daughters, Kofie-Jade, and Zenzie were killed in the quake on Tuesday.

The bodies of Mr Rejous and Zenzie have been recovered, but Kofie-Jade has not been found.

Mrs Sanson-Rejouis and her surviving daughter, Alyahna, were reunited with family members on Saturday in the United States.

Rachel Sanson, Emily Sanson-Rejouis' sister, says the head of the Haiti search and rescue mission has told the family that a thorough search has been conducted in the rubble of Hotel Karibe, where the family was staying, and search and rescue teams are convinced that nobody is still alive there.

Ms Sanson says Search and Rescue teams are focusing on rescuing people at sites where there is still life.

She says the family completely understands and supports the focus on searching for survivors.

But Ms Sanson says family members met on Sunday morning with New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff and said that when the focus shifts from survivors to those who have died, the family's first priority is the continued search for Kofie's body.

New Zealand aid effort

New Zealanders continue to donate money for the earthquake relief effort in Haiti.

The United Nations Children's Fund says it has raised $60,000 as of Saturday night.

The Red Cross says it has received more than $115,000 in online and telephone donations alone.

The amount is likely to be much higher, as it does not include donations made via banks.

Oxfam says it has raised more than $120,000.