Oxfam Teams In Haiti Initiating Aid Deliver

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16th January 2010, 10:50am - Views: 880

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Oxfam is a leading international aid agency working with communities around the world for solutions to poverty and social injustice.

Saturday 16 January 2010

Oxfam teams in Haiti initiating aid delivery

·         Water most immediate problem

·         Oxfam warns that picture from rural epicentre yet to emerge

Oxfam staff in Haiti are providing shovels and picks for local civil workers to clear rubble

to search for trapped victims in the capital, Port-au-Prince, following Tuesday’s massive


Oxfam Australia’s Emergencies Manager Richard Young said Oxfam is also sending up

to 10 tonnes of water, sanitation, health and shelter equipment, worth around $125,000 to

Haiti and has pre-positioned emergency stocks in Panama on stand-by. 

“Oxfam’s plans to scale-up aid delivery are now being finalised. We have 17 humanitarian

experts arriving in Haiti today to join our 100 staff already on the ground. 

“Access to clean water for survivors is a key issue right now and Oxfam will be working to

deliver water and sanitation to help prevent the spread of disease.

“The destruction continues to severely hamper aid efforts. Oxfam has had brief and

erratic communications with members of our team in Haiti. Many have themselves had

their houses destroyed and are now having to sleep in the street. Some have lost family

members. One Oxfam staff was killed in the quake. 

“Essential communications with the team are marginally improving and Oxfam has more

communication equipment arriving today. The horrific picture of need, and the vast

obstacles to getting aid to people in need, is emerging,” Mr Young said.

While efforts are focused on establishing a foothold in the wrecked capital from which to

disperse aid, Oxfam has warned that the actual epicentre of the quake was in the

countryside. There is no access to rural areas, so no picture yet of the disaster there.

“This is a nightmare for survivors and aid workers alike. The airport is near ruined,

communications fractured and people are traumatized and in great need. We are now

beginning to get aid through despite the challenges,” Mr Young said.

Oxfam understands the Haitian government is planning to set up 14 camps around the

capital to give people somewhere to sleep. In this situation camps could offer the best

temporary solution to get food and water and sanitation to people in need. 

“This is a massive aid effort and we do need support to fund our work. Australians are

phone 1800 088 110 to donate to help our efforts,” Mr Young said. 

Oxfam has spokespeople in Haiti. For more information contact Kate Thwaites on +61 407

515 559

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