Global response needed to assist world’s poorest countries battle COVID-19
Concern today called on the international community to urgently assist the world’s poorest countries as they prepare to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Concern Worldwide’s emergency response team are on standby to distribute vital supplies being airlifted to Haiti – where over 1.4 million people are in urgent need of aid following the devastation left by Hurricane Matthew.
As the death toll in Haiti rises to over 1,000 and the scale of the disaster increases, Concern staff are working tirelessly to respond to the needs of those worst affected by the catastrophic storm.
Ireland’s largest aid agency, Concern, has been working with Haiti’s local authorities and with other aid agencies in assessing the damage caused and distributing blankets, water cleaning tablets and other vital aid.
Concern’s Country Director in Haiti, Nellie Kingston, from Clonakilty, Co. Cork, said they are also preparing to distribute emergency stock supplies worth €56,000, being airlifted from Panama to Port-au-Prince funded by Irish Aid, the Irish government’s programme for overseas development.
These are essential supplies, such as blankets, water cleaning tablets and rehydration sachets, jerry cans, soap, rope, plastic sheeting tarpaulins for shelter and water tanks, which will be distributed to approximately 1,000 families befitting more than 50,000 people in total".
“We are very grateful to Irish Aid for sending these supplies to us at a crucial time as we become more aware of the extent of the damage caused".
"Houses and vital roads and bridges have been destroyed, crops and livestock swept away and cases of cholera, which killed over 10,000 people after the 2010 earthquake, start to rise".
The needs are huge and it is urgent that we get to communities as soon as possible. Communities trying to re-build after previous natural disasters have once again been wiped out and tens of thousands are homeless and living in temporary shelters.
Concern has worked in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere with a population of 10.1 million, since 1994 and had a team of 106 staff in the country when the hurricane hit with winds of up to 233kph.
Haiti was also revealed yesterday [Monday] as having an “alarming” level of hunger in the latest Global Hunger Index and is fourth from the bottom of the index, which was launched by Concern Worldwide and German aid agency Welthungerhilfe.
Concern sent a team of expert emergency relief workers called the Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) to Haiti over the weekend, who included two men from Dublin, Peter Doyle, an emergency programme manager from Ballinteer, and logistics adviser Graham Woodcock from Glasnevin.
Concern is advocating for a coordinated response in the very badly hit Haitian island of La Gonave, where staff are carrying out assessments of the damage with other relief organisations, World Vision and French Red Cross.
For more information or for an interview with Nellie Kingston the Concern Haiti Country Director, please contact communications officer Kevin Jenkinson at 0863582886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.