Port au Prince, 21 October 2016 – Haiti Red Cross volunteers have delivered packages of emergency food, shelter, hygiene and household supplies to 600 families in the remote southwestern commune of Anse d’Hainault – the first relief items to reach people in this area following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.
“The distributions took extensive planning and fortitude, due to extraordinary logistical challenges,” said Felipe Del Cid, Regional Disaster Management Coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
More than 36 tonnes of goods were flown in on cargo flights, and divided into family parcels in Port-au-Prince by dozens of Haiti Red Cross volunteers. The parcels were then shipped to waters off the coast of hard-hit Anse d’Hainault, moved by cargo nets onto small boats, and then off-loaded at a distribution site set up by Haiti Red Cross Society and IFRC teams, with support from community volunteers.
Meanwhile, Red Cross teams on land were able to access many of the worst-affected villages in the area by foot and motorcycle to register vulnerable people who have had no support to date. Over the past two-days, 600 families from these villages each received 60 kilograms of desperately-need supplies.
“This is our strength,” said Mr Del Cid. “Red Cross volunteers are from this area. They know the terrain, and despite severe damage to roads and infrastructure, they can get assistance to people who reside in the most hard-to-reach places.”
The relief packages include food and kitchen items, including rice and other grains, canned food, oil, pots and pans, plates and utensils. There are heavy plastic tarps for emergency shelter, and tools to help people repair damaged homes including saws, shovels, wire, plyers, hammers and nails. The parcels also include an extensive range of hygiene and cleaning items, including buckets, water purification tablets, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper and sanitary napkins.
“The Haiti Red Cross Society, with the support of partner National Societies, has been distributing emergency items from day one throughout affected areas. We will continue to target isolated villages with supplies as well as mobile medical care, clean water, sanitation support and scaled up hygiene promotion,” said Mr Del Cid.
Relief distributions in response to Hurricane Matthew are led by the Haitian Red Cross with the support of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement partners. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org
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