For Immediate Release
August 24, 2021
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) continues to lead U.S. government efforts to expand relief operations by air, land, and sea to reach and respond in areas impacted by the August 14 earthquake in southwestern Haiti. Since arriving on the ground that same day, the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) has been conducting search and rescue operations, determining priority needs, and delivering assistance. The DART has reached over a dozen hard-hit communities in Grand’Anse, Nippes, and South Departments, with further missions planned to get additional aid to people as quickly as possible.
At the request of USAID, the Department of Defense U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) established Joint Task Force (JTF)-Haiti, and SOUTHCOM and U.S. Coast Guard helicopters are transporting relief supplies, equipment, and DART members to affected areas while medevacing patients from those areas to Port-au-Prince for urgent medical assistance. These flights are also now bringing critical materials, equipment and supplies into the area for humanitarian and medical organizations that are responding to the earthquake, including water purification systems, water storage containers, generators, medical equipment, and personal protective equipment.
As of August 23, JTF-Haiti –including the U.S. Coast Guard– has conducted 311 missions, medevaced 425 people, and delivered almost 136,000 pounds of vital aid, including food, water, medical supplies, and equipment. USAID partners on the ground also continue to deliver critically needed relief supplies and aid that is reaching people in affected communities with more on the way.
Distributing Relief Supplies
USAID partners are urgently working to distribute aid to people in need of assistance. USAID partner the UN World Food Program (WFP) is transporting 830 metric tons of USAID food supplies–enough to feed more than 62,000 people for one month–from Port-au-Prince and distributing it in affected areas. USAID supports WFP year round to maintain stocks of pre-positioned food in Haiti to be ready to support people during emergencies.
To date, WFP has distributed more than 100 metric tons of this food, which includes rice, beans, and vegetable oil, to affected areas, and will be moving more in the coming days. WFP has distributed the food to thousands of people in hard-hit areas of South Department, and is using a portion of the food to provide daily hot meals for medical staff and patients in hospitals in South and Grande’Anse departments. As of August 23, WFP had served 3,500 hot meals in the hospitals.
Last week, USAID partner, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), began distributing an initial 2,000 hygiene kits, 2,000 jerry cans, as well as 2,000 plastic sheets and 2,000 shelter repair kits to provide emergency shelter assistance in Les Cayes and Nippes. This week, IOM is distributing additional USAID relief supplies that were pre-positioned in Port-au-Prince in affected areas.
In addition, USAID is supporting Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to distribute hygiene and shelter kits, and truck in safe drinking water to support 2,800 families in hard-hit areas of Nippes.
Coordinating with the Government of Haiti and local emergency officials
As the DART continues to expand its reach, they are meeting regularly with the Government of Haiti and local emergency officials to closely coordinate response efforts, report needs and conditions on the ground, and prioritize delivering assistance to the hardest-hit communities.
On August 21, USAID DART Leader Tim Callaghan, Joint Task Force-Haiti Commander Rear Admiral Keith Davids, and the Government of Haiti Directorate for Civil Protection (DCP) Director Dr. Jerry Chandler surveyed four hard-hit areas in Grande-Anse and South Departments to meet with affected communities, coordinate with local authorities, and assess logistical needs for delivering assistance. Yesterday, the DART, DCP Director Chandler, JTF-Haiti, and UN agencies met to discuss ways to further scale up the relief being provided to affected individuals, including to additional remote areas. DART members will continue to work closely with local officials across assistance efforts.
For the latest updates on USAID’s humanitarian assistance in Haiti: (https://www.usaid.gov/2021-haiti-earthquake)