Jan. 22 - CWS situation report: Haiti earthquake

Via prepositioned CWS supplies, CWS partners were able to begin assisting survivors within 24-hours of the quake. CWS and its partners continue to respond to the needs of survivors both in and outside the capital of Port-au-Prince. Attention is also now turning to survivors who are now expected to leave the capital of Port-au-Prince for rural areas and into displacement camps just outside the city. Some 400,000 persons are expected to move to the camps.

Haitian boy getting fresh water
Children in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince get safe water for the first time since the quake via an ACT Alliance water system that provides homeless families with piped in water points. Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT


Church World Service and its partners continue their work in responding to the massive Jan. 12 earthquake, with assistance to survivors both in and outside the capital of Port-au-Prince. Attention is also now turning to assisting survivors who are now expected to leave the capital of Port-au-Prince into rural areas and into displacement camps just outside the city. Some 400,000 persons are expected to move to the camps.

Some 200,000 people may have been killed in the quake. Security seems to be improving in Port-au-Prince for ongoing international relief efforts, according to reports, although setting up effective distribution systems to the majority of the affected population remains a challenge. 


Here is the latest information on the CWS response:

++ As noted in previous updates, part of the CWS and partner response is in assisting Haitians who may try to enter the neighboring Dominican Republic and in establishing a storage and distribution center in the Dominican city of Jimaní.

++  To assist with immediate needs, CWS has initially sent or is sending four shipments of material goods.  Deliveries began within the first 24 hours.  More shipments may be sent later.  Details on the shipments follow -- though it should be noted that numbers and types of kits on shipments yet to depart can change.

1) An air-freight is scheduled to arrive today (Jan 22) in Santo Domingo. The shipment contains: 500 lightweight CWS Blankets; 1,125 Baby Care Kits, some of them CWS Baby Care Kits and some from partner Lutheran World Relief (LWR).  Also in the shipment: 10,595 hygiene kits, most from CWS and 325 from LWR; 720 tubes of toothpaste from LWR; and 25 flashlights with batteries.

2) A second shipment, by ocean ship, is to arrive in Santo Domingo, DR, Feb. 2. It contains 500 light-weight CWS Blankets; 13,325 Hygiene Kits: 13,000 from CWS, and 325 from LWR; and 375 CWS Baby Care Kits.

3) Another shipment is also expected to arrive in Santo Domingo on Feb. 2, with 2,950 lightweight CWS Blankets; 3,150 CWS Baby Care Kits; 7,215 CWS Hygiene Kits.

4) An air shipment of 60 cartons of IMA World Health medicine boxes is expected to arrive in Santo Domingo on Tuesday, Jan. 26.  Each box contains enough essential medicines and medical supplies to treat the routine ailments of about 1,000 adults and children. This is a shipment rescheduled from this week.

CWS Regional Director Martin Coria, now based in the DR and working closely with long-time partner Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas, known by the acronym SSID, reports these developments in the CWS response in the DR:

++ Operational space in Jimaní has been established. The Dominican border town is the most convenient for crossing to Port-au-Prince.  The Episcopal Church of Jimaní has given its building to be used as long as needed for doctors, rescue teams, visitors and volunteers. There are 30 mattresses and secure space to store supplies. This will serve as the hub for CWS and partner operations. A storage/supply center for 100 containers has been established.

++ A first aid clinic and emergency room has been located in the Christian School of Parisien, in Haiti, some 8 kilometers from the Haitian/DR border - about two hours from Port-au-Prince. There is space
and capacity for no more than 30 patients at a time, and it is secure. Alex Morse, working with CWS in the DR, reports that some injured Haitians in the hospital who are recovering are attempting to re-injure themselves because "once they are well they will be sent back to Haiti, where there is nothing for them." Morse also said: "Please continue to lift up Haiti in your prayers, and pray for those working in the disaster." And he added: "Partners like SSID are working miracles here."

++ Food and supply distribution sites have been established across the border through Haitian churches and managed through different Haitian non-profits and community leader associations.  The hub of a five-center distribution network is located in Pétionville.

++ Long-term work will focus on food security in rural areas. In Port-au-Prince, the CWS response is focusing on work with at-risk children and with people with disabilities. 

Other developments:

++ Don Tatlock, CWS Latin America and Caribbean program manager, continues work with distributing supplies to those in Port-au-Prince, noting the strength of CWS's already-existing relationships in helping to determine priorities for CWS distributions.

A recap to date

++ Other relief items, including CWS Kits and Blankets, that had been pre-positioned for disasters in the Santo Domingo warehouse of SSID, arrived in Port-au-Prince from Santo Domingo last week along with water and sanitation equipment that been shipped as part of CWS-supported
efforts by the ACT Alliance.

Martin Coria noted that with CWS pre-positioned supplies "SSID was able to provide relief to the victims of Haiti's massive earthquake in the first 24 hours.  On Wednesday (Jan. 13) SSID sent a flight with supplies to Port-au-Prince and their staff were able to see the needs firsthand and quickly provide the most crucial supplies.

"While there they saw makeshift clinics without even the most basic supplies for sanitizing wounds or treating patients, they saw people creating roadblocks with the rubble so they could sleep in the streets, and children, orphaned in the disaster, without the most basic of their
needs provided for. 

"The next day they were able to bring in a second flight, with medical supplies, CWS Blankets for those without shelter, and food and water. They continue to transport needed supplies to Port-au-Prince and the
Dominican border, and coordinate medical teams to set up temporary field hospitals."

++ CWS on Jan. 13 issued a $200,000 appeal (#6762), expanded on Friday, Jan. 15, to $1.2 million and with a further revision expected next week.

++ Part of the response will be for SSID and CWS to mobilize NGOs in the DR that focus on children*s programs to support equivalent NGOs in Haiti.

++ In Haiti, CWS is assisting in the full restoration of operational and programmatic capacity of Ecumenical Foundation for Peace and Justice, a CWS partner. The EFPJ children's program in Port-au- Prince will deliver a range of services to children in Carrefour and La Saline.

++ CWS is reorganizing and expanding the network of volunteers trained by Cuban missionaries, from the Cuban Council of Churches, to work with people with disabilities in neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince and intends to focus much of their recovery and rehabilitation activities in programs that serve people with disabilities.

++ CWS is assisting in restoring the operating capacity of CWS partners Service Chretien d'Haiti and SKDE so they can provide direct services to survivors in and around Port-au-Prince.

++ As part of efforts in which CWS, a member of the ACT Alliance, supports the larger ACT work in Haiti, CWS is exploring partnership program efforts with Christian Aid in ways that take advantage of our respective interests and capacities. 

++ CWS-supported efforts as part of the larger ACT Alliance include the construction of temporary water systems, providing water purification materials, tents and food packages. Additional efforts will be announced once assessments are completed.

++ CWS praises the decision by the U.S.government granting Temporary Protected Status to Haitians living in the U.S.

++ The Church World Service-administered Religious Services Program is responding to the particular pastoral needs of Haitian immigrants held in the four federal detention centers it serves, including the Krome Service Processing Center in Miami, Florida.

++ Church World Service long has provided assistance to the Haitian population in the United States through its Miami office. That office, along with 17 Board of Immigration Appeals-recognized CWS affiliate offices across the United States, are prepared to provide immigration legal services and assistance with TPS applications.  More information is available at www.churchworldservice.org/immigration.

How to help

Contributions may be made at www.churchworldservice.org/haiti or by phoning 800-297-1516 or by mailing to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (please indicate Haiti Earthquake).



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