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Questions about Haiti emergency

The earthquake in Haiti, and the response to it, are raising several important questions. Below, Concern’s Information Officer Cormac Staunton answers some of the most pressing.

Is aid getting through?

We are working in horrendous conditions to get aid to those affected by the earthquake. Efforts have been hampered by the lack of electricity and telephone communications, as well as damage to the airport and roads

But desperately needed aid is getting through to those in need, and the volume and speed of delivery will increase as the logistics improve. We have already distributed medicines to health centres and our teams are now mobilising water distributions.

We sent vehicles up to our projects in the central part of Haiti, to get access to our emergency stocks. They returned with jerry cans, aqua-tabs, plastic sheeting and bottles of water.

We plan to distribute items in the poorest areas using our existing local partner organisations, our youth volunteers and our peace committees. These groups have already been very pro-active in cleaning up and helping in the immediate aftermath of this disaster.

Why is the crisis so big?

The fundamental problem has been that a major earthquake has hit a major population centre.

The biggest complicating factor is Haiti’s extreme poverty which leaves many of these people vulnerable to any kind of disaster.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and is prone to experiencing natural disasters. It suffered four hurricanes in a matter of weeks in 2008. The average life expectancy in Haiti is only 52 years.

What can people do to help?

Aid stocks on the ground are being distributed and more supplies are being flown in. We have committed, resilient teams reaching people with desperately needed aid. But we need more supplies and more help.

Please donate now.