Haiti

Caritas delivering life giving assistance despite the difficulties

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Over 300 Caritas local staff are continuing to deliver relief supplies to the many survivors in urgent need in Haiti despite the significant difficulties they face.

Caritas has been delivering blankets, tarpaulins for shelter and food including peanut butter and sardines since the day following the earthquake. Hygiene kits, cookware and plastic sheeting stored in Caritas' Port-au-Prince warehouse are also being distributed. Caritas coordination centres have been established with many of the staff working and sleeping in the street due to the concern of aftershocks. 23 food distribution points are being coordinated in Port-au-Prince and a further two in Jachmel district, which is also badly affected.

Teams of volunteers and staff are packing food boxes for 50,000 people. The first 5,000 boxes have already arrived in Port-au Prince and been distributed.

The US based Caritas affiliate, Catholic Relief Services is also due to receive more than 1500 metric tons of food (200 tons of cooking oil and 1300 tons of bulgur wheat) in the devastated capital in the coming hours.

In the neighboring Dominican Republic, Catholic Relief Services is preparing five-gallon buckets loaded with juice, sardines, sausage, peanut butter, nuts, granola bars, canned fruit, black beans and saltine crackers. Water storage containers, water purification tablets, mosquito nets, and hygiene kits are also en route to Haiti.

Jack de Groot CEO of Caritas Australia said, "the work of the Caritas local staff on the ground has been incredible despite the many challenges they face. The trauma of losing loved ones and living through such a disaster is a huge burden. Yet the compassion and commitment of our people to continue to work both day and night to deliver the life giving assistance they are providing, is truly inspiring.

"And at the moment despite the incredible efforts of our staff and our volunteers, the needs are just overwhelming. Our international support staff have arrived but at the moment we just need to get through the next few days and ensure we can keep the aid pipe flowing".

You can help by making an online donation to the Haiti Emergency Appeal.

For more information please contact Tim O'Connor (02) 8306 3400 or 0417 284 831.