Following the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on Saturday August 14th, UK-Med and Humanity & Inclusion sent a team of four medical, rehabilitation and humanitarian health experts to the country to carry out an urgent needs assessment at the request of the Government of Haiti on behalf of the UK Government’s Emergency Medical Team.
The team’s assessment
Assessments are specifically designed to develop a clear picture of the situation on the ground, establish the support requested by the national government and build a team and response that can make the biggest difference to the people affected by the disaster.
The team quickly established a relationship with the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population and other organisations working on coordinating the emergency response. They assessed a number of facilities at the request of the Ministry, and identified an option for supporting one facility in the south of the country. This assessment was passed to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
On this occasion, FCDO were not best placed to meet the needs of the UK EMT option identified. So far, the UK’s response to Haiti has supported improved coordination and provided shelter kits for nearly 1,300 families, in addition to UK supported funding mechanisms contributing, and further options of support are still being considered.
The assessment team’s detailed findings about the needs at the facilities that they visited have been passed to NGOs with a significant presence in-country, who will be well-placed to provide support for the coming months. Colleagues at Humanity & Inclusion will also continue to support with the rehabilitation side of the response.
We would like to thank our team on the ground for deploying so quickly, their swift analysis of the situation and incredible expertise. They have undertaken a rapid assessment in a disaster area and provided excellent support that will be used by health organisations to address urgent and compelling medical needs – a real testament to their knowledge, experience and sheer will to get the job done. We are grateful as well for all the kind messages of support to the assessment team over the past week.
To our dedicated register of members who as ever stand ready to respond and lend their skills and expertise so generously, we appreciate hugely the personal sacrifice, flexibility and determination you show to supporting people affected by disease outbreaks, disasters and war. Thank you for your continued commitment and unwavering support.
We would like to thank our Haitian colleagues for their support and warm welcome at a challenging and heart-breaking moment for the country. We are glad that the work carried out by the team on the ground will be used by the local authorities and organisations with a well-established presence in Haiti to help those affected by the earthquake.
Our thoughts are with those coming to terms with the loss of loved ones, those recovering from injuries sustained and to all the people of Haiti as they work to overcome the additional challenges faced following the earthquake.