MAF's hurricane relief response set to increase

Published: 4 Nov 2016

MAF's hurricane relief response set to increase

MAF is anticipating that relief flights in Haiti will increase, following the withdrawal of US military helicopters drafted in to deliver cargo in the immediate aftermath of hurricane Matthew.

We are already flying more passengers than expected and servicing a steady demand to transport cargo to hard hit coastal communities. With roads opening, more freight is moving by road although urgent medical supplies and cold-chain goods still require ongoing air-cargo support.

However, reports of the need on the ground continue to highlight the urgent need for food and clean water of people in remote areas.

Increasingly desperate   

The UN OCHA estimates more than 806,000 people are in need of emergency food assistance, 140,000 people living in 204 temporary shelters and more than 3,508 cases of cholera are suspected.

Paul O'BrienSecurity concerns affected operations last week. Flights to Dame Marie were suspended for 24 hours following reports of a ‘food riot’ and armed intervention by police and UN forces on Wednesday 26 October. This follows the ‘swamping’ of MAF aircraft by agitated people last week and other reports of attacks on aid convoys and people mobbing distribution sites. 

MAF sent additional staff on a flight to Dame Marie and has now retained two local community leaders to act as the MAF agents at the airstrip. They will assist with crowd control and will also provide advice via phone regarding weather and security issues.

Tonnes of relief

In the last week, MAF aircraft carried out 86 flights delivering 8.5 tonnes of cargo and 183 passengers for 26 organisations.

Rain storms caused further flooding the week before, leading to cancellation of some MAF flights and making relief work more difficult as well as exacerbating the suffering.

Flights delivering supplies are in demand. MAF flew Linda Brooks of Solidarity Dame-Marian, and two others, to Dame Marie with supplies to clean up and secure their house. They brought a chainsaw to help the community clear downed trees, as well as food for a feeding program through their school and organisation. They plan to provide a meal per day to the children they support with each student able to bring a friend each day.

On 26 October MAF assisted Operation Endeavour by flying 11 staff and 330kg of medical and other supplies to Les Cayes from where, they journeyed by boat to Ile a Vache.

The organisation that specialises in disaster preparedness and relief, mobilised a team in response to the acute needs identified by Haitian medical partners.

‘We understand that the island of Ile a Vache suffered 80 percent loss of homes and the approx. 12,000 residents have no access to medical care', they report. 'Our plan is to bring in supplies and perform 36 hours of intensive medical clinic relief ops and treat 600-800 people.’

Operation Endeavour is planning further trips with MAF to assist partners and bring in water filtration systems for 1,000 families in Cap Haitien.

Please pray

A month after the devastating hurricane, please continue to uphold the people of Haiti.

✈ Desperate people do desperate things. Please pray that those in need will receive what they are lacking, for peace and safety for both the aid workers and those in need, and for effective long-term solutions to the issues plaguing Haiti.

✈ Lift up the partners we have flown in the last week including:  Haiti Bible Mission, USAID, Children’s Hope, DFID, Donita’s Children, Solidarity Dame Marie, Medair, FEHRA, MEBSH Construction, Filter of Hope, El Shaddai Ministries, Haitian Connection, ACTED, Catholic Relief Services, Operation Endeavour, Action Aid, and Human Appeal UK.

✈ Finally Haiti has long been a place of spiritual darkness. Pray that Haitians will invite Jesus into their hearts and allow Him to transforms their lives, communities, and country.

 

 This project was part funded with UK aid from the British people