Haiti

Emergency assistance to Jacmel - 145 dead and 380 wounded in the fourth largest Haitian city

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Port-au-Prince, January 18 2010 - While the international relief organizations are becoming operational in Port-au-Prince, other areas devastated by the earthquake are still longing for first aid efforts. Since January 12, the ACTED teams are committed to relief operations in Jacmel (the fourth largest city, located in Southern Haiti), which counts 145 dead and 380 wounded, a report still to be completed.

Jacmel and its inhabitants are today isolated from the rest of the world and from humanitarian assistance, which continues to flow in the Haitian capital-city. Instead of the 2:30 hours usually needed, the trip from Port-au-Prince to Jacmel takes more than seven hours on an obstructed road.

The ACTED teams, who also work in the capital-city, assist the populations of Jacmel, in coordination with the few humanitarian actors present on the ground. Gérald Serve, ACTED Technical Coordinator, attests of the emergency of the situation: "Since the earthquake, there hasn't been any humanitarian assistance in Jacmel. Only local resources, with the present organizations' existing stocks, were used. As of today, much more is needed. 20,000 people are in need of relief, medical care, water, food, first-aid needs, and wait for a humanitarian assistance that remains focused on the capital-city".

Jacmel hospital, completely devastated, was transferred to a church but many wounded suffer from open fractures and could not be taken to the health centre. "The existing medical services focus on the most wounded, but we need doctors, surgeons and medicines", explains Gérald Serve.

Relief assistance becomes operational in Jacmel

Water bag and food ration distributions have been going on since the very disaster in two camps hosting 7,000 people. Hygiene conditions in these areas remain precarious; access to water is very difficult and the sanitary facilities are ill-adapted.

ACTED has just built 8 emergency latrines to respond to the needs of 1,600 people. 8 others should be achieved very soon. The aim is to reach a total of 42 latrines (for 8,000 people).

Other dire needs subsist; "the refugees in Pichinat camp in Jacmel have only access to a single water collection point, creating a huge pool of water where people defecate, wash themselves without intimacy, hence inducing risks of water-related diseases". The priority for the ACTED teams in Jacmel is thus to guarantee the inhabitants' access to drinking water collection points, to sanitize the common areas and to build shower facilities for women and for men.

ACTED will also start food distributions with the WFP in the city of Leogane for 30 000 earthquake-affected people from Tuesday January 19th.

****Press contacts (in English)*****

- Adrien Tomarchio (Communication manager/Paris) +33 1 42 65 61 40 / +33 6 85 91 28 62 - adrien.tomarchio@acted.org

- Luca Pupulin (Haiti emergency mission manager - Haiti) + 8816 31 451 970 / +33 (0)6 80 99 58 53 - luca.pupulin@acted.org

ACTED is a French NGO which supports vulnerable populations in 28 countries since 1993 ACTED has been working in Haiti since 2005. Already engaged in emergency response operations following hurricanes Gustav and Ike in the summer 2008, ACTED also works to improve food security, sanitation and access to potable water for vulnerable Haitian populations.

To learn more about and to donate for HaIti, please visit our website: www.acted.org/en