Earthquake in Haiti: Emergency Response Mobilized
PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI—Action Against Hunger | ACF International has mobilized an emergency response following the earthquake that devastated the city of Port-au-Prince yesterday. ACF teams on the ground have begun to carry out rapid evaluations across the city, while additional support, equipment, and materials—including water treatment supplies, emergency vehicles, and communications equipment—are en route from ACF’s bases in Gonaives.
In addition to ACF’s in-country staff, a team has been mobilized to arrive with an initial planeload of emergency stocks from its staging grounds in Paris to supplement efforts on the ground. These stocks include emergency water and sanitation equipment and food aid supplies. Additional shipments of emergency supplies will be sent after rapid assessments are carried out.
ACF has been present in Haiti since 1985 and currently has about a hundred staff members in the country, including some thirty emergency aid workers in Port-au-Prince.
Current conditions make it extremely difficult to assess the extent of the damage in Port-au-Prince. ACF’s own offices were badly damaged, with much of our equipment destroyed, but our teams are largely intact and unharmed.
Given the realities of Port-au-Prince’s urban sprawl, endemic poverty, and chronic water and sanitation problems, ACF’s initial response will anticipate severe difficulties in access to drinking water. High rates of chronic malnutrition and the likely destruction of food stocks are also of immediate concern.
Action Against Hunger has implemented programs in Haiti since 1985, carrying out emergency measures in the areas of health and nutrition. Since 2001, ACF has focused primarily on food security and water, sanitation, and hygiene programs in both emergency and development contexts in Port de Paix, Gonaives, Anse Rouge and Jeremiah.