Plan's Stuart Coles describes "a drive through hell" to reach the devastated capital city of Haiti. Read his blog here.
In Jacmel, where three shelters for a total of 1,000 homeless people have been set up, Plan has been distributing food, water and family kits. The purchase of 4,000 tents is under way for families whose homes have been destroyed.
Plan is coordinating with other organizations to ensure there is no duplication of services and there is coverage of affected areas. A child protection team is working to assist unaccompanied children and help prevent trafficking and abuse. There is a clear need to work with the communities to support them in keeping children safe and protected and to ensure that their special needs for food, shelter, play, education and protection are met.
Plan staff are working out of the parking lot of the office, due to fears that the building is unsafe. Fifty per cent of buildings in some areas are damaged or destroyed. Eight hospitals are so badly damaged they are unusable. It is estimated that three million people are injured or homeless. In general the situation remains relatively calm, though there are increasing signs of unease amongst the population as it awaits assistance in a desperate time.
Please make a donation right now to help the children and families in Haiti, and to make your donation go twice as far. Through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Canadian government will match all contributions made between January 12 and February 12, 2010.
With the arrival of the additional team, a systematic assessment is under way this weekend, building on early work already completed by local staff. Another team will also travel to Jacmel to undertake a needs assessment in this location. These assessments will focus on child protection, water and sanitation, and health.
Plan Dominican Republic continues to provide high levels of support, including for procurement of supplies, fuel and cash for purchases in Haiti as well as providing staff and vehicles.
Plan staff are currently focusing on providing emergency relief, and are unable to provide news on individual sponsored children at this time. We will update this website with information as it comes in, but it will be some time before we have news on specific children.