Haiti - is the aid getting through?

Report
from ActionAid
Published on 16 Jan 2010 View Original
The situation is so chaotic and transport links so badly damaged that delivering aid is a serious challenge - but ActionAid staff are working round the clock to get help to those who need it most.

As the operation gets into gear, our staff in Haiti were joined this evening by three specialists from the UK, Brazil and Guatemala.

They'll bring much needed assistance to a team who have had to dig their own families out of the rubble of Port-au-Prince, who have been sleeping on the streets because their homes have been destroyed and are organising ActionAid's relief effort at the same time.

The team were given a huge boost with the news that =A310 million has already been raised already via the DEC appeal. They were almost overwhelmed when they were told of the generosity of the UK public. ActionAid's own appeal is already approaching half a million pounds after just four days.

But as the scale of the disaster unfolds, it's clear that more will be needed.

Emergency supplies

We are currently identifying those who need shelter, food and water - including children sponsored by ActionAid supporters - and we'll rush supplies to them as soon as they arrive.

We are sending extra emergency staff to the area to help deliver shelter, food, blankets, soap and sanitary kits for women. We will initially be trying to reach 20,000 people. ActionAid will prioritise vulnerable women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

Millions have been affected

Around 50,000 people have been killed and millions more have seen their homes and livelihoods wiped out. Even before the disaster, Haiti was the poorest country in the western hemisphere and one of the poorest on earth. It was ill-equipped to deal with the impact of this earthquake, which has hit the government, the UN and the aid agencies.

ActionAid has launched an appeal for Haiti and we urge members of the public to give generously to this appeal. Aid agencies remain seriously underfunded and desperately need donations to support the aid effort and save lives.