Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti: USAID Fact Sheet - update

Key Developments

* U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah visited Haiti on January 16 to personally convey support to the people of Haiti and meet with Haitian President Rene Preval, other Government of Haiti (GoH) officials, and the U.S. government (USG) field relief team.

* As of 1500 hours local time on January 16, U.S. urban search and rescue (USAR) teams—working in concert with other international teams—had rescued 22 individuals from collapsed buildings, according to the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART).

* On January 15 and 16, two additional USAR teams arrived in Haiti—from Virginia Beach and New York, respectively—bringing the total number of U.S. teams to seven and the total number of U.S. USAR members to 506.

* Early on January 16, three USAID/OFDA water treatment units arrived in Haiti on DoD C-130 aircraft. The units have a combined capacity for providing 300,000 liters of safe drinking water each day. USAID/OFDA is arranging a second flight carrying an additional water treatment unit, as well as kitchen and hygiene sets for distribution to affected families.

* On January 16, USAID/OFDA announced the provision of $550,000 to USAID/Dominican Republic (USAID/DR) for the procurement and delivery of safe drinking water to earthquake-affected populations.

* As of January 16, two of five U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) had commenced field hospital operations. A third DMAT team, a Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT), and an International Medical Surgical Response Team (IMSuRT) also arrived on January 15.

* The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has authorized $20 million in overseas humanitarian and disaster assistance appropriations in support of the Haiti earthquake relief effort.

* On January 15, the USS CARL VINSON delivered more than 30 pallets of relief supplies for transport by helicopter to distribution sites and affected areas.

* Approximately 5,000 U.S. troops, afloat and onshore, are currently supporting U.S. relief operations in Haiti.


* A January 15 UNDAC On-Site Operations Coordination Center (OSOCC) report indicated that the earthquake killed approximately 50,000 individuals. Additionally, a U.N. flash appeal issued January 15 stated that the earthquake affected an estimated 3 million people. However, humanitarian agencies note that the death toll and impact figures remain unconfirmed.

* In the most-affected towns of Petit-Goaves and Des Nippes, west of Port-au-Prince, the earthquake resulted in nearly 1,000 confirmed deaths and more than 50,000 displaced individuals, according to OSOCC. In addition, the earthquake destroyed 80 to 90 percent of buildings in Leogane town, west of Port-au-Prince, and 50 to 60 percent of buildings in Jacmel, southern Haiti, OSOCC reported.

* The OSOCC report noted that the management of corpses remains a public health concern. The GoH has buried approximately 13,000 bodies in two days; however, volume exceeds local capacity. The U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has conveyed plans to assist in collecting bodies and digging communal burial sites. GoH police and civil protection authorities continue efforts to identify bodies.

* UNDAC teams continue to conduct post-disaster damage assessments for use by humanitarian agencies in determining earthquake response initiatives.

* In addition to the five clusters previously announced, the U.N. country team in Haiti plans to mobilize clusters in agriculture, protection, nutrition, education, emergency telecommunications, and early recovery, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Search and Rescue Operations

* Favorable climate conditions and certain structural qualities have enhanced the survival chances of individuals trapped in collapsed buildings, indicating the search and rescue phase may continue beyond the standard timeframe, with remaining opportunities for live extractions, as reported by OSOCC.

* Twenty-seven international USAR teams, comprising approximately 1,500 rescue workers and 115 rescue canines, are operating in Haiti, according to the OSOCC report. USAR teams had searched approximately 60 percent of the most-affected areas of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas as of January 15.

* OSOCC noted that security concerns, communications, and transport and fuel shortages present the primary challenges to USAR operations.

Emergency Food Assistance

* The U.N. World Food Program (WFP) has appealed for $279 million to feed 2 million people and provide logistical support for a 6-month Emergency Operation. WFP plans to provide one-week rations of ready-to-eat food to up to 2 million people who no longer have access to kitchens or cooking facilities. Following the distribution of ready-to-eat rations, WFP plans to begin general distributions of basic food items, moving from general food distributions toward food-for-work activities.

* As of January 15, WFP had received more than $55 million in contributions from donor governments and more than $5 million from private companies.

* U.S. Military helicopters airlifted 27,000 Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDRs) from Guantanamo Bay to Port-au-Prince for consignment to WFP on January 16. The USAID/DART is receiving 600,000 DoD HDRs in the coming days for distribution to earthquake-affected populations through WFP.

* WFP distributions of food, water containers, and water purification tablets are reaching approximately 13,000 affected individuals on January 15, according to OCHA.

* USAID/FFP implementing partners currently have more than 7,100 metric tons of P.L. 480 Title II emergency food assistance in Haiti, with an estimated value of $5.5 million, for distribution to earthquake-affected populations.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

* Water points using the commercial power grid remain non-functional, making access to safe drinking water a critical issue in areas of the Port-au-Prince, according to a January 16 DoD report.

* According to the USAID/DART, the GoH is in the process of prioritizing locations in need of water and requesting that organizations provide GPS coordinates.

* USG agencies involved in the response continue to prioritize and coordinate the delivery of water and WASH supplies.


* Port-au-Prince residents made homeless by the earthquake currently reside in approximately 40 informal temporary camps throughout the city, according to a January 16 report from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Populations in temporary encampments included an estimated 50,000 people residing in the Place du Champs de Mars and another 5,000 individuals sleeping in the open near the St. Louis de Gonzague high school.

* The GoH has identified 14 sites to establish formal camps for persons displaced by the earthquake, according to the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF). The GoH has not yet made specific location information public; however, UNICEF reported that a limited number of sites may be outside Port-au-Prince, due to an ongoing spontaneous internal migration toward St. Marc and Artibonite and other provinces.

* UNICEF cautioned against establishing camps in certain locations due to flood risks and the potential for overcrowding. Further, many families in Port-au-Prince may not be willing to leave the capital to reside in distant camps.

Logistics and Transportation

* The Port-au-Prince port is likely to remain inoperable for 60 to 90 days, DoD reported on January 16. Vessels cannot deliver fuel to the port's tank farm due to damage to the fuel-delivery pier, and the report noted an estimated two-day supply remains in bulk storage before fuel becomes scarce.

* The USNS LUMMUS scheduled to depart Jacksonville, Florida on January 18 to transport emergency relief supplies from USAID and DoD. The container ship has roll-on/roll-off capability for offloading cargo without a port.

* The U.N. Logistics Cluster recommends the use of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as the primary entry point for humanitarian relief destined for Haiti while the Port-au-Prince airport continues to operate at diminished capacity. Port-au-Prince airport officials continue to divert some flights carrying emergency relief supplies to the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos Islands, according to OCHA.

* On January 15, WFP reported that the U.N. Humanitarian Air Service is launching a project to provide air support to humanitarian agencies operating in Haiti. Additionally, WFP has announced plans to establish a base camp for the approximately 200 humanitarian organizations responding to the earthquake during the week of January 18.

* USAID/OFDA has established an air bridge with DoD for daily transportation of emergency relief supplies on multiple flights of C-130 aircraft.


* To date in FY 2010, USAID has provided nearly $87 million in humanitarian assistance for the Haiti earthquake, including a USAID/OFDA contribution of approximately $38.7 million and USAID/FFP food assistance valued at an estimated $48 million.

* On January 12, USAID/OFDA activated a Washington D.C.-based Response Management Team (RMT) to support the USAID/DART that deployed to Haiti early on January 13 to assess humanitarian conditions and coordinate activities with the humanitarian community.

* DoD has been supporting the humanitarian response through transportation of emergency relief personnel and commodities into Haiti. In addition, several U.S. military ships are currently positioned near Haiti to provide tactical and operational support to the emergency response operation.

* On January 13, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth H. Merten declared a disaster due to the effects of the earthquake. In response, USAID/OFDA provided an initial $50,000 through the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince for the implementation of an emergency response program. USAID/OFDA is providing additional assistance in accordance with the findings of USAID/DART and humanitarian community assessments, as access to affected groups expands over the coming days.

(1) USAID/OFDA funding represents anticipated or actual obligated amounts as of January 16, 2010.

(2) Estimated value of food assistance.


* The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. Information on organizations responding to the humanitarian situation in Haiti may be available at

* USAID encourages cash donations because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, warehouse space, etc); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance.

* More information can be found at:

o USAID: – Keyword: Donations

o The Center for International Disaster Information:
o Information on relief activities of the humanitarian community can be found at

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