Direct Relief International is responding to a 7.0-magnitude earthquake and its aftershocks that struck Haiti today. The earthquake, centered off Port-au-Prince, destroyed a hospital in Petionville and damaged other buildings. Early reports indicate significant property damage and deep concern about large numbers of injured persons.
Emergency aid is being offered to all our partners in Haiti to support their response to the quake. Two shipping containers of medical material aid were scheduled to arrive today in Port-au-Prince today as part of Direct Relief’s ongoing humanitarian and emergency-preparedness work in the country.
The 40-foot and 20-foot containers, containing over $420,000 of essential medicines, supplies, and nutritionals, were destined for St. Damien Children’s Hospital. The hospital is one of three local facilities in Haiti with which Direct Relief has partnered in its Emergency Pre-Positioning Program. The program stages essential medical materials on site with key partners for immediate use in emergency situations such as this one.
The organization announced it will commit up to $1 million in aid for the response and is coordinating with its other in-country partners and colleague organizations.
Direct Relief’s partners in Haiti include Partners in Health, St. Damien Children’s Hospital, Christian Aid Ministries, the Visitation Hospital, and Food for the Poor. St. Damien and Partners in Health are particularly active in emergency response and last year received pre-positioned materials in anticipation of hurricane season. The pre-positioned materials become available for general use by the facilities November 30, the end of hurricane season.
Since 2000, Direct Relief has provided more than $60 million in medical material aid to Haiti.
Direct Relief’s partners in-country provide medical care for thousands of vulnerable Haitians. Partners in Health began in 1985 as a small community clinic; today that clinic has grown to a 104-bed, full-service hospital and eight other clinic sites across Haiti’s Central Plateau. Food for the Poor, a Catholic relief agency founded in 1982, offers assistance to the poor throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Visitation Hospital serves between 80 and 90 patients a day at its facility outside Port-au-Prince, which houses a lab and pharmacy, seven exam rooms, two medical/dental procedure rooms, and a food bank.