Latest update: 1.45pm Monday 18 January 2010
World Vision is distributing emergency supplies to assist thousands of families affected by the devastating 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010.
World Vision’s relief efforts began shortly after the earthquake struck the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, using pre-positioned supplies already available in-county. Relief efforts are gathering pace, with a World Vision airlift of 18 metric tons of emergency supplies arriving safely in Port-au-Prince on Saturday.
Several more airlifts are expected in the coming days, with supplies from Panama, Toronto, and a further flight from Denver. The supplies will be immediately assembled into kits for distribution to families in need, including items such as tarpaulins for temporary shelter, blankets, hygiene kits, water containers and medical supplies.
On Saturday, World Vision began distributions of clothes, hygiene kits, dried biscuits, and bottled water to 750 families in Canape Vert and Petionville, Port-au-Prince.
For the survivors of the devastating earthquake who have lost their homes and are camped out with little-to-no shelter, the start of distributions could not come soon enough.
Crowds gathered for the arrival of the World Vision vehicles bringing the aid.
Dine Paul, one of the women identified to receive assistance, held on tightly to her 1-year-old daughter Julissa in the crowd. “It’s good to see the aid coming but we want to see more,” she said.
Community organiser, Mazard Guy, speaking at the distribution, said it was the first time the 457 people camped there had received formal assistance. They had previously relied on people in the neighborhood generously giving out basic supplies.
“Our biggest need is food and water,” he said, adding that a number camped at the yard were suffering from dehydration.
Gina Jean explained how she was pulled from the rubble of her home shortly after the quake hit. Bewildered, she ended up sitting in a street full of screaming people. When she eventually composed herself, she was able to thank God that she and her children had survived. Her husband, who was at work at the time of the earthquake, remains missing.
Gina is camped out on a patch of waste ground with her 2 children aged 4-months and 10 years. Strung up bed sheets and a washing line hung with clothes are their protection from the sun and their temporary home. “It is shameful for my children to have to live like this,” she said.
Prednor Metellus, who also lost his home in the quake, shared a plea for the international community: “Pray for us so that God will remember us. Our needs are getting bigger. We need everything.”
Read latest updates about World Vision’s response and children sponsored by Australians here.
You can donate to the Haiti earthquake appeal here.