Update from World Relief Int’l in Haiti

Post a Comment » Written on February 23rd, 2010     
Filed under: Disaster Relief
General Haiti Update

* Commercial cargo flights began arriving in PAP and the first civilian passenger flight is scheduled for February 19.

* An official day of prayer and fasting was called on February 12th, a month after the earthquake happened.  Rene Preval was in attendance at a large gathering in central Port-au-Prince. An overwhelming majority of Haitians living in Port-au-Prince participated in prayer services around the city.

* The death toll is now well over 200,000.  More than 300,000 are injured.  The toll on the healthcare infrastructure continues to be significant.  A story in the New York Times highlighted the work of medical teams from the United States.

* Signs of trauma are evident across the population.  Stories of people’s experience during and after the earthquake highlight the needs for trauma counseling in the coming weeks and months.

* Port-au-Prince has experienced rains in the past week—devastating to a population largely still trying to access adequate shelter.  Over one million people are sleeping in the streets.  The needs for shelter are overwhelming.

* More than 2 million Haitians — two out of nine — lacked access to clean water before the quake, and five out of nine did not have adequate sanitation, according to the World Water Council.  This situation was made significantly worse by the earthquake.

* President Preval estimates it will take three years to remove the rubble from Port-au-Prince.  The Washington Post reports an Inter-American Development Bank study put the estimated damage between $9 and $14 billion—significantly more than the value of Haiti’s economy.  It is also significantly more than the estimated $5 billion cost of the damage after the 2004 tsunami in Asia.

World Relief’s Work

Water Distribution

* We are continuing to distribute water to thousands of vulnerable families in Cite Soleil. Until wells and public water sights are available, there is an urgent need for water to reach vulnerable populations. We delivered 15 truckloads of water with 3,200 gallons per truck, for a total of 48,000 gallons for the week, serving 9,600 households (five gallons per family). In addition, two truckloads of water were delivered to well sites to assist in the drilling/installation of new pumps.

* Local church leaders are ensuring water reaches the neediest families.

* To date, we have distributed an estimated 192,000 gallons. We will continue targeting Cite Soleil, reaching an estimated 3,200 households per day.


* Six well sites have been identified, including churches, orphanages and schools. These wells will provide ongoing potable water to the community. We are also facilitating the formation of community water committees to manage wells to ensure the wells provide a steady, long-term water supply.

* Four wells have been drilled to date. Hand pumps and submersible pumps will be installed and tested this week, and the final two wells will be drilled. The infrastructure around the pump for security and preservation of the water source will also be completed in the coming weeks.

* Once installed, hand pumps will yield about 8,000 liters in 12 hours; submersible pumps will pump approximately 10 gallons per minute or 600 gallons per hour.

Food Distribution

* After distributing food in Mais Gate, Delmas and Carrefour to approximately 10,000 individuals per day, we are now linking our church partners into 16 fixed distribution sites run by other organizations around the capital.

* World Relief staff are currently assessing how to best meet food security needs for upcoming planting season, which begins soon and lasts until April.


* 2,000 families in Cite Soleil received tarps through World Relief’s partnership with 66 pastors who are registering the neediest in their communities. Thousands of people are currently living on church grounds and streets with inadequate shelter.

* Around 10,000 people have received temporary shelter through World Relief and local church partners.

* In the coming weeks, we will significantly scale up our temporary shelter distribution and will begin planning for permanent shelter work.


* The “Haiti – Helping Without Hurting” webinar series from the Chalmers Center started last week and continues Feb. 24 and March 3. You can find a recording of the webinar at www.whenhelpinghurts.com. I highly recommend it!

* You can follow Joanna Mayhew, WR home office staff person currently serving in Haiti in a communications capacity, on twitter www.twitter.com/jojomayhew and on her blog at http://scatteredink.wordpress.com

* Washington Post Feature on Haiti

* AlertNet feature on the extent of the devastation

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