IOM Receives Aid Flight, Continues Distribution of Emergency Supplies to Haiti's Earthquake Victims

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Haiti - IOM aims to increase joint distributions of food and non-food emergency relief items with the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), following funding pledges and in-kind support from the US government's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

Two cargo planes carrying emergency relief supplies from the USAID/OFDA Miami warehouse landed overnight in Port-au-Prince with 2,800 hygiene kits, 6,000 ten-litre water containers, 480 kitchen sets, and two mobile water treatment units. Another shipment from USAID/OFDA containing tents and cots is expected to arrive over the weekend.

Arrangements have been made with the Canadian forces stationed at the airport to receive and offload the aircraft. IOM has also secured trucks and is looking at increasing its warehousing space.

"Relief items are expected to be dispersed rather quickly as IOM, WFP and UNICEF aim to cover some 60,000 individuals per day," says IOM's Chief of Mission in Haiti Vincent Houver.

Yesterday, IOM and WFP distributed food and non-food items including tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, jerry cans, bladders, and some shelter material to some 8,000 people in three locations in the capital Port-au-Prince.

With traffic in the capital on the increase as many inhabitants seek to leave, IOM and its partners are planning to carry out distributions in the early hours of the day the avoid delays in meeting planned distribution schedules.

In the coastal city of Jacquemel in South-western Haiti, where scores of houses and building were reduced to rubble, IOM has distributed 18,000 aquatabs, 600 jerry cans, 300 hygiene and kitchen kits, 600 mosquito nets, as well as plastic sheeting and tarpaulins.

Due to on-going operations in Haiti prior to Tuesday's devastating earthquake, IOM has a stockpile of non-food items to assist 10,000 families. However a far greater level of support is needed urgently to assist the hundreds of thousands of families displaced or affected by the earthquake.

As the lead agency for Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFIs) for Haiti's Earthquake relief, IOM is requesting some US$30 million as part of the UN's Consolidated Flash Appeal, issued yesterday in New York. With the true scale of the disaster still unfolding, this figure is likely to change in the coming weeks.

A US$ 1,1 million allocation from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will allow IOM to procure shelter, including tents, plastic sheeting and other life-saving assistance for victims of the quake.

IOM and its partners, which include Haiti's Civil Protection Department and the Ministry of Social Affairs, IFRC, Concern Worldwide, CRS, Save the Children, OXFAM, ACTED, CARE, UN-HABITAT, will focus on providing immediate support to an estimated one million families left homeless or temporarily displaced from their homes through the repair and cleaning of temporary shelters and damaged private houses, and the provision of NFIs.

Families that can return to their original houses will be encouraged and supported to do so; while those whose homes have been destroyed but who have family or friends that can offer them shelter, will be encouraged and supported to stay with those families. And those who cannot return to their homes and cannot stay with host families will be supported in the temporary shelters (camps, collective centres and spontaneous settlements).

IOM has been working in Haiti since 1994. IOM Haiti is part of the UN Country Team and works closely with UN partners on emergency and early recovery.

To support IOM's disaster relief operations in Haiti, please go to www.iom.int.

For more information, please contact:

Jean-Philippe Chauzy
IOM Geneva
Tel: +41 22 717 93 61
+41 79 285 43 66
Email: jpchauzy@iom.int