accessibility & help

Relief supplies arrive to help Haiti earthquake survivors

18 January 2010

A Red Cross first aider cradles an infant girl whose head is bandagedTalia Frenkel/American Red CrossOver the weekend, relief supplies and personnel continued to arrive in Haiti and the surrounding area. Thousands of survivors have been sleeping outdoors, desperate for food, clean water and shelter.

Air and sea ports in Haiti were damaged by the earthquake. The airport in Port-au-Prince has now reopened and is working at full capacity. However, the high volume of arriving planes means that many are being rerouted to Santo Domingo airport in neighbouring Dominican Republic.

A British Red Cross team of four logistics experts arrived in the Dominican Republic on Saturday (16 January). They will ensure that relief supplies arriving at the airport in Santo Domingo are processed and forwarded to the affected areas in Haiti as quickly as possible.

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Specialist support

The team joins around 130 Red Cross and Red Crescent personnel from around the world who are specialists in medicine, sanitation, relief distribution and other skills that become critical in disasters.

The British Red Cross has released almost all of the emergency relief items it stores in a warehouse in Panama, in preparation for disasters in the region. Buckets, blankets, mosquito nets, tarpaulins, kitchen sets and hygiene parcels are being shipped or air freighted into Haiti.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has so far distributed emergency health kits for 30,000 people and 234,350 litres of clean water to thousands of people. They have built latrines for 1,000 people and launched a website to help people find missing family members. So far, more than 21,600 people have registered online.

Local help from volunteers

A Red Cross first aider bandages a young boy's headTalia Frenkel/American Red Cross Haitian Red Cross volunteers, drawn from the local community, have been helping their neighbours since the earthquake hit.

In one suburb of Port-au-Prince, they have set up a first aid station in a garage.“It may not be the best place with all these cars around but plenty of people are coming in and we are caring for them,” said Rita Aristide, a Haitian Red Cross volunteer since 1999. ”We have been dressing wounds for hundreds of people already.”

Donations for Haiti

The British Red Cross is fundraising as part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) – an umbrella organisation of 13 leading UK charities which come together in times of major crises.

The damage Haiti has suffered is so severe that the Red Cross expects rebuilding to take years, not months. 

Donate to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal

Listen to podcasts about our logistics emergency response unit

Read blogs about Haiti

Find out more about the Haiti earthquake