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Ministers Flanagan and McHugh authorise airlift of emergency relief supplies to Haiti

Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Joe McHugh, Press Releases, Latin America, 2016

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D. and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh T.D. have announced that Ireland will provide humanitarian aid to Haiti in response to the devastating hurricane.

Haiti is the hardest hit country by Hurricane Matthew which has left a trail of destruction in its wake across the Caribbean and in Florida in recent days. The hurricane left at least 300 people dead in Haiti, a number that may rise as the authorities re-establish contact with regions cut off by the storm. Emergency relief operations, led by the Haitian Government, are hindered after the collapse of a bridge which cut off the only road linking Port-au-Prince to the southern Haiti peninsula.

Minister Flanagan said:

“The damage and destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti in recent days is another devastating blow to communities previously affected by the earthquake in 2010. Initial rapid assessments indicate that over 350,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance and some 20,000 people have been displaced from their homes. There are increasing concerns that flooding will exacerbate pre-existing epidemics such as cholera, dengue fever and Zika. The death tolls continues to rise and we know that many thousands of people have lost their homes and possessions in the aftermath of the strongest storm to hit the region in a decade.

“We are monitoring the situation closely in coordination with our partners on the ground. Assessments of the damage and requirements are ongoing and Ireland is prepared to provide humanitarian assistance once a clearer picture of humanitarian needs has emerged. We will work with our NGO partners to respond appropriately.”

Minister McHugh added:

“Ireland has been a strong supporter of Haiti since the devastating earthquake of 2010, and the country has faced a number of disasters in recent years to which we have responded. Currently, we are working with our partners on the ground to get a sense of the priority needs which are likely to be shelter, water and sanitation and health.

“Irish Aid is currently arranging an airlift of emergency relief supplies into Haiti from Ireland’s pre-positioned stockpiles stored at the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Panama City. These supplies, including tarpaulins and rope for shelter, blankets, soap and mosquito nets, as well as jerry cans and water tanks, will be distributed to 1,000 families in La Gonave by Concern Worldwide”.

ENDS
Press Office
7 October 2016

Notes to Editor: