Thousands of family survival kits are streaming into Haiti as part of Plan’s emergency response to the earthquake disaster.
5,800 kits have been sent from the Dominican Republic by sea to Jacmel in south Haiti, and overland to Croix-des-Bouquets, situated just north of the capital Port-au-Prince.
Each kit contains vital emergency supplies such as food to feed a family for one month, water purification tablets, tarpaulin sheets, towels, soap, plastic sheets, flash lights, cups and plates.
Plan has already provided 18,000 people with food since the quake struck and a shipment of vital Plan aid - including 4,000 tents and 300 family survival kits – was one of the first agency deliveries to reach Jacmel.
Plan's convoy of 3 aid trucks reached the capital of Port-au-Prince on 15 January and other supplies are en route.
We are also working with children to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquake. Plan's disaster response expert Dr Unni Krishnan has conducted an assessment of children in Croix-des-Bouquets, where mothers reported their children waking up 4 to 6 times a night screaming from horrendous nightmares.
So far 300 children have taken part in Plan’s therapeutic games clubs, which provide them with a break from the misery of life on the rubble strewn streets.
The Haitian government estimates that 200,000 people have been killed in the disaster and up to 3,000,000 people are affected.
Plan Haiti Director Rezene Tesfamariam said the devastation in the capital Port-au-Prince was on an "unimaginable” scale.
"People are trying to recover bodies from buildings all over the city. The emergency services are overworked and most of the bodies are being recovered by loved ones. They are using whatever they can, their bare hands or rudimentary tools like shovels or pick-axes,” he said.
“Makeshift camps are springing up across the city and Plan is involved in assessing people’s needs.”
Away from the central urban area of Port-au-Prince, there is also severe damage in Jacmel and Croix-des-Bouquets, two of the areas where Plan works.
Assisting children and families
Roger Yates, Plan Director of Disasters and Humanitarian Response, said: “Of all the countries in the region, Haiti is the most vulnerable…our experience from other earthquakes is that the impact upon Haiti’s fragile infrastructure will be severely felt for some time to come. Our priority is assisting children and their families and getting people at risk into safe accommodation wherever possible.”
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