Death toll rises after Haiti quake, hundreds still missing
The window to send urgent aid to affected people in Haiti, by a 7.2 earthquake last Saturday is closing, as tropical storm Grace approaches the country, World Vision has warned.
“In the coming hours, we are expecting a tropical storm that has already activated red alerts in neighbouring Dominican Republic”, explained Marcelo Viscarra, National Director of World Vision in Haiti. “Thousands of people remain in the streets as they search for loved ones and try to collect a few of their belongings under the rubble.”
Recent reports account for 1297 dead and 2000 injured. Hundreds are still missing.
The relief agency will focus its efforts on providing water, hygiene goods, nutrition and shelter for affected families. It already sent nutrition kits and hygiene goods from its warehouses in the Dominican Republic. World Vision has sent a team to ground zero to coordinate and evaluate the most pressing needs of families, especially those with children.
“We are assessing the needs of many orphanages, which might need support to provide emotional and psychosocial protection to vulnerable children”, Mr Viscarra said.
Before the weekend quake, Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, was experiencing intense social and political unrest. Severe constraints on humanitarian access and a fragile security situation greatly complicate the humanitarian response amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will not give up in our efforts to reach the most vulnerable, nor will we let this crisis die out with time. We are committed to vulnerable families who are expecting the arrival of food, hygiene goods and temporary shelter to survive”, said Joao Diniz, Regional Leader of World Vision in Latin America and the Caribbean
World Vision Haiti, the government and NGO partners are working closely to conduct post-impact damage and needs assessments to determine further response.
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