Following the earthquake that hit Haiti on 12 January, Handicap International restored its humanitarian aid transports to Port-au-Princes on Thursday, under the auspices of the World Food Programme and the United Nations. The association began providing direct support to the injured on 16 January, in coordination with other medical emergency stakeholders.
Handicap International was delighted and relieved to learn on Saturday that 31 Haitian members of its team in Port-au-Prince and 23 others from its base in the city of Jacmel (50% to 60% of which has been destroyed, according to the UN) were all safe and sound.
The logistics platform, consisting of a fleet of 45 off-road lorries, managed by Handicap International in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), was back in service two days after the earthquake. On Thursday, two lorries loaded by WFP with 1,200 litres of water and four tonnes of energy biscuits, left Gonaïves for Port-au-Prince. On Friday, eight additional lorries left with fuel and water treatment equipment belonging to Action Contre la Faim.
Twenty lorries will now make regular deliveries of priority goods (water, food and medication) to the capital under escort and coordinated by the United Nations.
Our team of five expatriate staff has recently been expanded following the arrival of a physiotherapist and two logisticians, with further rehabilitation staff scheduled to arrive next week (a physical rehabilitation doctor, two orthoprosthesists, one occupational therapist and one physiotherapist) from Canada and the US. We began providing direct care to the injured on 16 January. From 19 January, following the recruitment of a dozen Haitian health staff, this care will be extended to six hospitals, four districts of Port-au-Prince and the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the surrounding area (in particular Carrefour and Carrefour Feuille), where most of the population lives.
In addition, the Belgian section of Handicap International sent two physiotherapists into the field. They will work with the teams from Médecins Sans Frontières Belgium for two months, providing post-operative rehabilitation care for the injured (multiple traumatisms, fractures, amputations, spinal column and neurological injuries, etc.)
A tonne of equipment, including wheelchairs, artificial limbs, corsets, walking frames, crutches and walking sticks left from Istres airport on Thursday. It is being distributed to hospitals on Monday. Another charter aircraft carrying a tonne and a half of equipment left Vatry airport in Reims today.