PAHO/WHO Coordinating Regional Efforts to Assist Haiti after Earthquake
Washington, DC. January 14, 2010.
The Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is coordinating the mobilization of efforts to help health authorities in Haiti meet the basic health needs of their people in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake, through its country offices. All the countries in the Region have responded with great solidarity.
Dr. Mirta Roses, PAHO Director, convened a regional virtual meeting this morning linking all PAHO/WHO Representatives in Latin America and the Caribbean to exchange information on actions taken by PAHO/WHO Member States in the region in response to the earthquake. Dr. Roses in turn provided updated information on the situation in Haiti and emphasized the importance of a coordinated response to ensure more efficient and effective delivery of disaster assistance.
PAHO is coordinating and facilitating the mobilization of health experts and rescue teams from a number of its Member States and other regions to provide relief and recovery. PAHO/WHO is working with other United Nations agencies, international partners, and local authorities in these efforts and is assessing the impact of the earthquake on the health situation. Donors countries including USA,Canada and Spain have pledged additional funds through PAHO.
All the countries in the Region have responded with great solidarity by sending rescue missions, medical teams, medical supplies, water, food and other general provisions to Haiti. Some of these relief efforts include:
Dominican Republic has strengthened the health services and hospitals along the border to assist with evacuations of injured and care for the sick.
Cuba provided 403 health workers, 334 of whom were already working in the country prior to the earthquake. The ministries of health of Cuba and Haiti are coordinating the evacuation of survivors with urgent medical needs for treatment in Cuba.
Jamaica has also agreed to receive earthquake victims in their hospitals, which have been placed on alert.
Brazil had contributed US$10 million and an air bridge with critical supplies.
Venezuela has offered to help reestablish the provision of free fuel to medical facilities.
Cargo planes carrying provisions including medical, rescue and military personnel, medical supplies, water, food, and shelter (tents) have been sent by countries including Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
Mexico has sent rescue teams, cargo planes and hospital vessels.
Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the CARICOM countries, among others, are also providing important contributions and are awaiting information on additional specific needs.