January 20, 2010, Port-au-Prince—Lack of access to supplies and services continues to force some Haitian earthquake survivors out of Port-au-Prince and into the surrounding areas, including across the border into the Dominican Republic, about 30 miles from the Haitian capital. World Vision’s Dominican staff have joined the relief effort in the border town of Jimani. Below is an update on the response.
- According to the United Nations, search and rescue operations continue to find survivors. By recent count, 90 people have been saved by 43 international teams made up of 1,700 people.
- Working conditions remain very difficult, but humanitarian workers are now increasingly reaching out to affected areas outside of Port-au-Prince.
- Immediate priorities for the wider humanitarian response continued to be medical assistance, corpse management, shelter, water and food, and sanitation.
- Engineers are needed to reconstruct the roads and bridges in Port-au-Prince, and heavy equipment is needed to remove the huge piles of rubble.
- The security situation remains tense but calm, despite some sporadic and isolated looting.
- Water, food supplies and fuel are limited in the capital. Electricity and telecommunication have been largely cut-off. Relief workers are seeing limited sales of fruits, vegetables, and some household items, but access to staple foods remains extremely difficult.
World Vision response in Jimani, Dominican Republic:
- Communities in and around Jimani, Dominican Republic (on the border, about 30 miles from Port-au-Prince) are welcoming thousands of Haitian quake survivors.
- Hospital General Melencialo has 35 beds but is treating 300 Haitian victims already, 107 of whom are children. The hospital is so crowded that a nearby church and other buildings are also receiving the injured. Four recovery centers have been set up, two of them in neighboring churches.
- World Vision is receiving doctors and providing medical staff with accommodations. Children benefiting from World Vision sponsorship programs are helping to provide Creole translation. World Vision is also providing food and water for hospital and other responders.
- World Vision staff are reporting that Jimani residents are trying to treat their illnesses at home so as to leave the hospital available to concentrate on quake injuries.
- World Vision is also turning some of its attention to the psychological and safety needs of children. Child protection issues are increasingly important. World Vision has coordinated with a local church to establish a safe area for children.
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world’s poor —regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press.