Latest update: 4.30pm Saturday 16 January 2010
The Australian public has once again shown amazing compassion for those in need, already donating more than $725,000 to World Vision Australia’s Haiti earthquake appeal.
“The generosity of ordinary Australians will make a direct, meaningful difference to the lives of people affected by the Haiti earthquake,” said Anthea Spinks, from World Vision’s emergency response team.
“At the moment, the pace of donations is on a par with the 2004 tsunami response.”
World Vision's relief efforts in Haiti are gathering pace, with a World Vision airlift of 18 metric tons of emergency supplies arriving safely in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, today at 14.30pm AEST
More than US$75,000 worth of items were on board, including:
• Tarpaulins for temporary shelter, and blankets
• Hygiene kits (which include a month’s supply of toilet paper, sanitary pads, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, body soap and laundry soap for a family of five)
• Cooking sets, which include aluminium pots and pans, bowls, utensils
• 5,000 collapsible water containers
The new supplies will bolster World Vision's existing activities. Already, medical supplies have been distributed to 11 hospitals and health centres from emergency aid centres World Vision had pre-positioned in Port-au-Prince.
World Vision is providing triage medical assistance for the injured at local clinics. Blankets have been distributed to 500 people, and a World Vision mobile clinic is attending to injuries. Water has been distributed to 300 individuals, and 140 families were provided with hygiene and kitchen kits. Water and clothing kits will be distributed to another 1,000 families today.
World Vision has more than 370 Haitian staff as well as a dozen international logistics and disaster response experts deploying to launch humanitarian programs.
Ruth Mlay is a Program Officer from World Vision Australia who is currently in Port-au-Prince.
“Yesterday we worked in Mirenbalais, to the north of Port-au-Prince, to give medical support to Haitians who are teeming in from the capital in search of medical support, water, and food,” said Ms Mlay.
“The only hospital was full to capacity and people were waiting on floors and in the street. They soon ran out of simple first aid supplies - I had to pull my first aid kit out of my bag and hand it to them.”
“We gave the hospital our supplies of water, juice and anything else we have to assist while Word Vision staff source further supplies from hospitals in other areas,” she said.
“Very soon Port-au-Prince could become a ghost town as people return to their rural homes in search of shelter.”
“Australians need to know that the situation is pretty dire.”
Another flight carrying aid to Port-au-Prince will depart from Denver, Colorado, to further bolster World Vision’s relief efforts.
Read latest updates about World Vision’s response and children sponsored by Australians here.
You can donate to the Haiti earthquake appeal here.