Haitians receive food, after hundreds killed after devastating floods

By October 4, 2004

Haiti (MNN/WV) — The Christian relief and development organization World Vision is distributing food to thousands of flood-affected Haitians in the northern city of Gonaives. The city was devastated when Tropical Storm Jeanne passed through, killing more than 1,500 and leaving 25,000 acres of fertile land ravaged by mudslides.

Five World Vision staff members are in Gonaives, the country’s third largest city, to help with the distribution. Looting and logistical challenges have plague the aid effort. United Nations peacekeeping troops are now on the ground providing security for aid efforts. Partnering with the World Food Program, World Vision is providing supplies for 90,000 people.

World Vision airlifted $900,000 in medicines and medical supplies over the weekend. MAP International has donated the supplies with antibiotics, syringes and bandages.

Relief workers are concerned about possible outbreaks of diarrhea, typhoid, skin infections and other water-borne diseases. “Contaminated water lingers around the city,” said Kate Scannell-Michel, communications officer for World Vision in Haiti. “The stagnant water is full of mud and debris and a few remaining dead bodies. For many, I is the only source of water from drinking, cooking and washing. Clean water is essential for saving lives.”

World Vision has contracted with another aid group, Clean Water for Haiti, to provide 300 bio-sand water filters, each capable of cleaning one liter of water per minute for flood-stricken neighborhoods. Also included in World Vision’s initial $250,000 relief response are hundreds of family emergency kits, which include water containers and purification tablets, along with mattresses, cooking utensils, soap, towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs and other personal items.

Donations can be made on-line at www.worldvission.org, or you can mail it to Tropoical Storm Jeanne relief, P.O. Box 70288, Tacoma, WA 98481-0288, or by phone toll-free at 88-511-6422.

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