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reportedly resulted in 21 deaths across the Caribbean, has caused flooding and extensive damage in parts of Haiti where many still live in tent camps following the 2010 earthquake. In the South and Southwest departments, roads are badly damaged, bridges have been swept away and the main hospital in Les Cayes remains flooded. In the West department, where the capital of Port-au-Prince is located, heavy rains continue, leaving many at risk in unstable tent camps. The Gray River, located on the outskirts of the city, has overflowed taking away homes and businesses. In addition, the main road that links Haiti to the Dominican Republic is badly damaged, making it difficult for vehicles to cross the border. Haitian President Michel Martelly has declared a state of emergency and given instructions to deploy the national emergency plan. International Medical Corps’ teams in Haiti are collaborating with local government agencies to coordinate an emergency response. Our teams prepositioned emergency kits, fuel and flashlights at all of our sites, and mobile medical units are on standby. Assessments are ongoing but early findings indicate that the primary humanitarian needs are shelter, supplies, water/sanitation/hygiene, and health. There are also serious concerns about food insecurity as crops throughout the country have been damaged. This adds to the already precarious nutrition status of the population, particularly children under 2. International Medical Corps has operated in Haiti since 2010 when our teams were on the ground treating patients within 22 hours of the earthquake. Following a comprehensive emergency response, we implemented long-term programs in Haiti including cholera treatment, primary health care, water and sanitation, and disaster preparedness. Today we are focused on training local health workers to help rebuild Haiti’s health infrastructure.
Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services and sustainable development projects that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.