Caritas Aid Pours in to Haiti

Real Strength Is Network of Parishes, Says Director

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, JAN. 18, 2010 ( Aid from the Church continues pouring into Haiti, where rescue workers are still finding scattered survivors under the rubble from Tuesday’s 7.0 earthquake.

As the catastrophe nears its week anniversary, the network of Caritas Internationalis has been able to begin meeting some of the vast needs. Rescuers from Caritas found three victims alive on Saturday, another three on Sunday.

The estimated number of casualties is now at 200,000, though the majority of victims’ bodies are still trapped beneath the chaos of fallen buildings.

Caritas organizations are running two mobile operating rooms and working on six mobile clinics. They’ve sent thousands of blankets, tents, water cans and purification tablets. Twenty trucks of aid arrived in Port-au-Prince on Sunday.

An emergency clinic is being flown in from Holland, complete with a surgeon and six technical staff for installing water purifying installations and seven water purifying installations.

Thirty-four tons of aid will be flown into Haiti from Germany on Tuesday.

«The real strength of Caritas is its network of parishes that gives us direct contact with communities and a point from which we can provide help,» said Alistair Dutton, Humanitarian Director for Caritas Internationalis, who is leading the international coordination of the Caritas aid agencies response from Port-au-Prince.


But one problem is getting aid in; another is getting it into the hands of hungry, thirsty Haitians.

Up to three million people are in need of help.

Caritas communications officer Michelle Hough recorded in her blog from Haiti on Sunday the difficulties simply getting from one place to another.

«We travel with a Caritas assessment team to Petit Goave, a small town 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Port-au-Prince in the afternoon,» she wrote. «It takes us over two hours. In some places the road has massive holes and cracks. It’s tough going in a jeep, I can’t imagine how aid trucks will manage.»

Hough noted how the media have made much of insecurity on the island: «As for insecurity, apart from the gunshots last night there has been no indication of violence. Looking at the faces of the people in Port-au-Prince, they are in shock and haven’t even begun to come to terms with what has happened.»

— — —

On the Net:

Catholic Relief Services:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation