Haiti

Haiti: Distributions continue, new aid arriving

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By World Vision staff

An airlift of 18 metric tonnes of emergency supplies arrived in Port-au-Prince Friday night from World Vision's warehouse in Denver, USA, and a second flight is planned for the weekend. The first delivery includes emergency goods for more than 1,000 families, including tarps for temporary shelter; blankets, collapsible water containers, cooking sets and hygiene kits that contain a month's supply of soap, toilet paper, toothbrushes and more for a family of five.

Difficulties with broken infrastructure, limited airport capacity and security concerns in Haiti have slowed the delivery of humanitarian supplies to hard-hit areas in the first days after the quake. Aid workers are working tirelessly to rescue survivors and bring desperately needed supplies to those affected by the extensive destruction.

World Vision, which has worked in Haiti more than 30 years, reached about 2,000 survivors as of Friday with relief items already stored in the country, but many urgent items such as clean water, medical supplies and emergency shelter resources, have quickly run low. World Vision teams have distributed first-aid supplies to more than ten hospitals in the Port-au-Prince area.

Meanwhile, a disaster-response security expert from World Vision joins US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US Agency for International Development Director Rajiv Shah and other humanitarian aid workers on Saturday as they travel to Haiti to survey the impact of the 12 January earthquake and support relief efforts.

Lon Peterson, a security adviser on World Vision's Global Rapid Response Team, is among staff from non-governmental organisations being transported to their aid missions in Port-au-Prince by the US State Department as guests of Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Shah on their official visit. Peterson will join other rapidly-deployed World Vision disaster response leaders with various areas of expertise who are already on the ground in Haiti supplementing the humanitarian group's 800 local staff.

"It is essential in these circumstances to help coordinate with the military, international agencies and other humanitarian responders for the smooth and safe delivery of assistance to the people who need it,'' said Peterson.