Latest update: Friday 15 January 2010
The delays at Port-au-Prince’s airport posed extra challenges relief workers serving thousands of the estimated 3 million Haitians affected by Tuesday’s massive 7.0 earthquake.
Flights that were scheduled to leave World Vision’s emergency supplies warehouses in Denver and Panama City are grounded until landing space can be confirmed.
World Vision has been distributing relief supplies in Haiti including medical supplies, blankets, tents and other essential items. The items have been stored in warehouses in Haiti in preparation for the hurricane season.
Aid distributions began Wednesday, the day after the quake, and have continued since.
In its race to overcome the challenges of getting relief assistance to those in need, World Vision is using all the resources at its disposal. World Vision has more than 370 Haitian staff as well as a dozen international logistics and disaster response experts deploying to launch humanitarian programs.
World Vision has a large national office in the Dominican Republic and will use its warehouse and other resources to provide support.
Ruth Mlay is a Program Officer from World Vision Australia who is currently in Mirenbalais, an hour from the capital Port-au-Prince.
“We spent today trying to support the team here to give medical support to Haitians who are teeming in from Port-au-Prince in search of medical support, water, and food,” said Ms Mlay.
“The only hospital here was full to capacity and people were waiting on floors and in the street. They soon ran out of simple first aid supplies and so we have given them our own personal travel kits.”
“We are giving 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. There is a lot of help coming in to the country but due to the wreckage there is no easy access to the most affected.”
Read latest updates about World Vision’s response and children sponsored by Australians here.
World Vision is appealing for funds to assist with the response in Haiti. You can donate to the Haiti earthquake appeal here.