Haiti

ShelterBox team on the ground: 'There is no more Haiti'

Source
Posted
Originally published
Aid workers for the international disaster relief charity ShelterBox are on the ground in Port au Prince, Haiti.

ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members Dave Eby (US), Wayne Robinson (US) and Mark Pearson (UK) arrived in the island's capital on Thursday, January 14 and have already been in contact with government officials, ACTED and Rotarians in the country.

The Response Team, who are completely self-sufficient, has set up base with the help of a Haitian Rotarian.

Speaking from Port au Prince, David Eby said: 'We're working hard to resolve security, logistics and communications. The city is totally devastated. Our host told us, "There is no more Haiti ."'

The situation on the ground remains fraught with the damaged infrastructure in Haiti hampering the aid effort but ShelterBox is doing everything within its power to ensure aid reaches Haiti imminently.

ShelterBox's Head of Operations John Leach said: 'We spoke with our team in Haiti this morning and already they've been working with other aid agencies and the government to assess where ShelterBoxes are most needed. 'Our priority is now getting logistics in and doing all we can to get it on the island. We're sending a ShelterBox Logistics team into Miami to work and coordinate logistics into Haiti from there.'

ShelterBox's Logistics Manager Richard Lewis added: 'We're doing everything we can to make sure emergency aid reaches the people of Haiti.

'The situation is changing by the minute and we're exploring every single avenue available to us in order to make sure the aid gets on the ground as quickly as possible.'

The ShelterBox Logistics team, made up of SRT members Mark Dyer (US), John Lacquey (US) and Ian Neal (UK), will meet a consignment of ShelterBoxes being flown into Miami, USA and run the logistics into Haiti from there.

930 ShelterBoxes have already been dispatched and are en route to Haiti while another 1,000 are being packed today at ShelterBox HQ by ShelterBox's team of volunteers. Virgin Atlantic are supporting the relief effort by flying hundreds of the ShelterBoxes on their planes.

Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic, said: 'Everyone who has seen the sheer destruction in Haiti over the last few days will have been moved to help in any way they can.

'We will fly in as much aid as possible so that the agencies on the ground can respond to the needs of everyone in Haiti whose lives have been devastated by this tragedy.'

With the need in Haiti growing each day, there are millions of people in need of emergency shelter. ShelterBox Founder Tom Henderson, OBE, says support at this time is crucial.

'The support we've seen in the last few days has been staggering,' he said. 'It's all hands on deck for ShelterBox right across the globe. People in Haiti need our help and we stop until they get it. If you can help, in any way at all, I'd urge you to do so.'

ENDS

For more information or to receive high resolution images please contact Angelina Lambourn on 01326 569782 or angelinal@shelterbox.org

NOTES TO EDITORS

About ShelterBox

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity specialising in emergency shelter provision. Humanitarian aid is delivered in iconic green ShelterBoxes. Each one contains a disaster relief tent for up to 10 people, a stove, blankets and other items essential for survival. ShelterBox responds to disaster as quickly as possible with the aim of helping the people who are most in need.

Every box is individually numbered and can be tracked by donors. Each box costs £490 - including the cost of all materials, packing, storage, transport worldwide and distribution to the needy. Assuming six months' use, this equates to shelter and warmth for less than 30 pence per person per day.

All aid delivery is undertaken by international volunteer ShelterBox Response Team members who have carried out extensive training with ShelterBox. We are often able to get aid where it is needed faster than any other organisation.

An initiative of Rotarian Tom Henderson OBE, a former Royal Navy search and rescue diver, ShelterBox started in 2000 as a project of the Rotary Club of Helston-Lizard, Cornwall. ShelterBox, now the largest Rotary Club project in the world, has responded to disasters including the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma). In 2010, ShelterBox will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary.