Haiti: Thousands to move into ShelterBox tent village
Situated near to the US Embassy in Port au Prince, the encampment named Congress Camp will house thousands of refugees from the centre of the city allowing them to stay close to their communities and carry on with their daily lives.
ShelterBox's Response Team (SRT) in Port au Prince has been working around the clock to help set up the camp with hundreds of disaster relief tents, each of which can house an extended family of up to 10 people. The team has worked closely with the French aid agency ACTED and IOM (International Organisation for Migration) to create the tent village which is also equipped with showers and latrines.
John Leach, ShelterBox's Head of Operations, said: 'This is an urban camp which means people can carry on with their daily lives and won't be forced to locations outside of Port au Prince.
'We have a huge number of tents here which will provide shelter to thousands of people and give them a chance to start rebuilding their lives. But we also have tent encampments set up in several other locations in and around Port au Prince and thousands more ShelterBoxes on their way to the city.'
In another camp in Delmas, a suburb of Port au Prince, work is continuing to provide emergency shelter to families with newborn babies and pregnant women. Additional tents have been set up with the help of the US Military's 82nd Airborne Division.
SRT member Mark Pearson (UK) said: 'Forty additional ShelterBoxes were dropped here to replenish the camp and now more than 200 families are living in this camp. We could not operate without the full support of the US military and state department in this area.'
ShelterBox has also worked with the women's charity V-Day in providing 40 ShelterBoxes to vulnerable women in Port au Prince. In addition, 50 ShelterBoxes have been given to the French association, Enfants de la Rue, to help house children caught up in the quake.
Meanwhile the aid operation from the UK continues. Another 1,800 ShelterBoxes are set to be flown from Stansted Airport to Santa Domingo, the Dominican Republic, on Friday, where they will be transported overland to Port au Prince. It will bring the total number of ShelterBoxes deployed in Haiti to more than 7,000 boxes, providing emergency shelter to more than 70,000 people.
ShelterBox Founder and CEO, Tom Henderson, added: 'None of this would have been possible without the fantastic fundraising efforts from ShelterBox supporters around the world. The need is huge but the response is matching it. By the sheer grit and determination of our staff, volunteers and donors we've been able to respond in record time, preparing more ShelterBoxes in two weeks than we've ever done before. We're in this for the long haul and I know our supporters will keep on going, keep on fundraising and keep on helping us make a difference.'