An Irish charity is poised to ship a container full of aid to earthquake-stricken Haiti this weekend.
Kieran Tansey, the director of Project Espwa, said it will be the first of three containers they plan to ship from Cork to the Caribbean state over the next month - each one packed with vital aid including hospital beds, mattresses, PPE, bandages, crutches, walking aids and nappies.
“We have all the aid we need at the moment. What we need now is cash,” Mr Tansey said.
The cost of the shipping containers, which the charity buys and then donates when they arrive in Haiti to be used as clinics, school rooms and even homes, has doubled during Covid-19 to almost €5,000.
The cost to transport the containers has also increased to over €5,000 so the charity is facing a €30,000 bill to get all three containers to Haiti over the coming weeks.
Project Espwa has been working in Haiti since the devastating 2010 earthquake which killed 250,000 people and made one million people homeless.
Haiti was hit by another huge earthquake on August 14, which has left at least 2,000 people dead and almost 10,000 injured.
Days later, it was lashed by tropical storm Grace, which dumped 11 inches of rain in just a few hours, cutting power and communications, and triggering another disastrous humanitarian crisis.
Mr Tansey said Project Espwa and its partners on the ground in Haiti know the country and its needs very well, and the aid they send is what the Haitians themselves say they need.
“We are a volunteer-based organisation, and every cent that we receive goes straight into our relief efforts on the island,” he said.
He encouraged people to donate via https://www.4haiti.ie/donate/.
Haiti Earthquake: Red Cross emergency specialists are currently being deployed to Haiti to support the assessment & immediate response for those affected - especially those who are most vulnerable.— Irish Red Cross (@irishredcross) August 19, 2021
Please donate today to get help to those who need it https://t.co/m56DxEjFIi pic.twitter.com/8cbRiUUlV2
Meanwhile, the Irish Red Cross has also launched an appeal for funds to help its Red Cross and Red Crescent teams on the ground responding to the humanitarian crises in Haiti and in Afghanistan.
“Many of us feel helpless when we witness the devastating scenes that are playing out across the world. Haiti and Afghanistan are two very different contexts but they both need the support of the Irish people,” said Catrina Sheridan, Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross.
Humanitarian needs will remain huge in Afghanistan.— ICRC UK & Ireland (@ICRC_uk) August 18, 2021
- 40,000 ppl treated for weapon wounds since start of June at @ICRC_af supported health facilities
- Fighting has stopped, but civilians continue to be injured by explosive devices
- Critical infrastructure damaged
“These are extraordinarily difficult times. With so many crises across multiple contexts and regions, it is critical that we intensify our efforts and provide support to our urgent humanitarian work supporting people and communities affected by these crises.”