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Monday 25 January 2010

Aid for thousands in Haiti with more to follow
Aid for thousands in Haiti with more to follow Tents are being set up for families in desperate need of shelter.

Nearly 100 tonnes of additional aid is being flown to Haiti this week as thousands of people who lost their homes in the devastating earthquake are being given the chance to start rebuilding their lives in ShelterBox tents.

Emergency shelter for more than 20,000 people is now in Port au Prince and surrounding areas with small camps already set up in Delmas, Petion-Ville, Carrefour and Leogane.

Hundreds more ShelterBoxes containing disaster relief tents and other life-saving supplies are being sent to the city in the next few days from Miami, Curucao and France, meaning another 11,000 people will be given emergency shelter.

On Friday, ShelterBox is chartering a 747 aircraft with 1,800 boxes to fly from Stansted Airport to the Dominican Republic where they will be taken overland to neighbouring Haiti.

It is the second flight chartered by the international disaster relief charity for the Haiti response after a plane loaded with 700 ShelterBoxes and 100 tents flew out of Newquay Cornwall Airport last week. ShelterBox Response Team members Jane Nash (UK) and Gary McCafferty (UK) travelled overland from Santa Domingo with an aid convoy to ensure the ShelterBoxes reached Port au Prince at the weekend.

John Leach, Head of Operations for ShelterBox, said: ‘The need in Haiti is massive. Our team in Port au Prince is working with Dutch marines to ensure the safe and effective delivery of disaster relief tents and hundreds of these are already being used in four different locations.

‘Distribution of aid by our highly-trained ShelterBox Response Team members is underway but the need for emergency shelter is still desperate.’

A number of ShelterBoxes have also been used at an orphanage and at two hospitals in Port au Prince where tents are being erected to help save lives.

Speaking from Bernard Mews Hospital in Freres, a suburb of Port au Prince, ShelterBox Response Team member Wayne Robinson (US) said: ‘Right outside the hospital there have been hundreds of people who have been laying in the sidewalks, on the streets and in blankets right on the ground in unbelievable conditions. They are bleeding, they have missing limbs and there are even women giving birth.

‘We felt this was a good use of the initial boxes that we had here on the ground and we’ll be bringing more here and using them as a transitional point to get people out of the elements while they are waiting for treatment at the hospital. Buildings have crashed down all around us here and people are just waiting and waiting to get in here for medical services.’

Click here to see more photos from ShelterBox in Haiti.

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