A group of very experienced Disaster Relief Rotarians has again come together to organize relief supplies, medical assistance, shelter and other necessary commodities for people in Southern Haiti to survive and rebuild after the August 14th earthquake. Haiti is part of Rotary District 7020, which includes 10 countries and 16 islands in the Northern Caribbean.
The committee met on Saturday afternoon to lay some groundwork focusing on immediate relief and to inform those that want to donate how they can do so.
“It is our responsibility to let Rotarians in our District 7020 and anyone that wants do donate the easiest and most secure way to do so,” said PDG Haresh Ramchandani, committee chair. He continued, “We are working with the Disaster Network of Assistance Rotary Action Group (DNARAG) to collect funds and then ensure that immediate aid is received by those with the greatest need.”
Cash is always the easiest way to get aid to those who need it now. The Rotary also has a list of needs, of which many can be sourced locally. This will not only help with relief, but also will support the local economy. To donate by credit card via PayPal, click here: https:/www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=ESJ9N2CASADV2 Donations are tax decuctable.
Dr. Claude Surena said, “Haiti is in the first phase of medical recovery and a great number of people need medical help.” He is trying to get human resources and medical equipment to the southside of Haiti. The evaluation is just beginning and is ongoing; Dr. Surena will be updating the Response Team daily with the current situation on the ground and needed supplies.
The first list of immediate needs from Dr. Surena includes:
- Eau / Drinking water
- Tentes et baches / Tents and tarps
- Nourriture / Food
- Kits d’hygiene / Hygiene kits
- Entran sanitaire /Medical Materials
- Medecin / Doctor
- Couvertures de laine / Wool blankets
- Jerrycan / Large, portable water container
- Kits de nourriture / Food kits
- Frais de fonctionnement pour le COUD / Operation fees for the Departmental Emergency Operation Centre (COUD)
- Volontaires, secouristes / Volunteers, first responders
- Kit covid 19 / Covid-19 kit
- Seau / Bucket
- Kits de nourriture / Food kits
Now, with over 1300 known dead and over 2700 injured, the Rotary District 7020 Earthquake Response Committee has done an initial assessment of the damage and secured logistics to provide aid. This was done by Dr. Surena and his team.
The Rotary team has aleady reached out to partners within and outside of Haiti to coordinate and increase the effectiveness of the response. Organizations’ members who have already reached out include SheltorBox US Disaster Aid, CDEMA, U.S. State Department, Rotary Caribbean Disaster Response Team and others. Outreach to other aid organizations is ongoing.
PDG Philip Lusting, chair of Disaster Network of Assistance Rotary Action Group, is very concerned that because of of COVID-19, the availability of medical teams coming into Haiti will be severly impacted. “It won’t be like after the 2010 earthquake when hundreds of NGOs came in to assist. It will be up to our resources on the ground to pick up the slack and those of us outside Haiti to provide support to them.”