Haiti Update - HOPE (UK)
Clifferd Dick, HOPE's Director of International Relations, has been on the ground in Haiti helping to coordinate HOPE's response. Read his first-hand report.
HOPE's initial response was immediate. It included two truckloads of much needed medicines and supplies that went from San Jose de Ocoa, through Jimani, as far towards Port au Prince as possible for distribution. This was done by our long-time partners in Ocoa (ADESJO ), with medicine that HOPE had already supplied as part of its ongoing commitment to the area, making possible a quick response in the aftermath of the earthquake.
I crossed the border into Haiti, mostly to get an idea of how the road is working for emergency supplies getting towards Port au Prince. It was agreed that as much of these supplies as possible will go to hospital/health care institutions in Cap Haitien (northern Haiti) that are already dealing with the injured from Port au Prince (they are sending buses of emergency supplies from Cap Haitian to Port au Prince and bringing patients back). There were also discussions about the possibility of getting helicopters to airlift some of these medicines to Cap Haitien (including other basic medicines that will be purchased locally in the Dominican Republic, so that issues of time and customs become less of an issue to deal with.
I came away impressed with the compassion all people (especially locals) are showing for the people of Haiti. HOPE is very well placed to respond both immediately in this emergency situation, and in the longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction process, because of strong partner links in both Haiti and the neighbouring Dominican Republic.
To hear Cliff talk more about the situation in Haiti, and HOPE's involvement there, you can listen to a recent interview he did on CBC BC (Radio Canada). Click on the following link and listen 8 mins in to the broadcast: http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/bcalmanac_20100119_26090.mp3