Caritas delivers aid in Haiti: calls for urgent support
Caritas, through its local partners is delivering first aid, tents and blankets to survivors of the recent Haiti earthquake and continuing to work around the clock to assist some of the three million people who are affected.
Caritas staff, who were out of the capital on an official meeting when the earthquake struck, have all thankfully survived and have visited badly affected areas of the capital Port-au-Prince yesterday to assess immediate requirements. Tents were distributed to families in desperate need. First aid was provided to some of the survivors in clinics and hospitals.
Caritas Haiti Head of Emergencies Joseph Jonidès Villarson said, “The hospitals are overwhelmed with the dead and injured. The risk of disease is great”.
Jamie Davies, Director of International Programs for Caritas Australia said, “tons of relief supplies are already prepositioned and our staff are working to get this to where it is most desperately needed. In addition tents, blankets, water and torches are also urgently required.
“The streets and public places are filled with people who do not know when to go. We fear violence if the situation continues. Looting has already broken out. There is very little visible presence of the police”. Caritas Haiti President, Bishop Pierre André Dumas has appealed on the radio for calm and solidarity.
Jack de Groot, CEO of Caritas Australia said, “We are in solidarity with the people of Haiti. Caritas will be providing desperately needed aid. Caritas and its church partners have extensive experience and networks in Haiti delivering shelter, food, healthcare, and clean water through the communities in which we work.
“We urge the Australian community to support aid efforts. Haiti is a very poor country that desperately needs our assistance. Caritas Australia has made an initial contribution of $100,000 in addition to the millions already allocated by our international network”.
Caritas Haiti and Caritas members working in the country have available warehouses, pre-positioned relief supplies, over 200 medical centres, hundreds of staff and a strong community network of volunteers that are being used to deliver aid. Caritas Internationalis has a team of international staff on the ground supporting the national operations in areas including food, shelter, sanitation, communications and logistics and will be committed to the people of Haiti for the long term.
You can support the Caritas Australia Haiti Emergency Appeal by calling 1800 024 413 or online at www.caritas.org.au