Friday 20 October 2017

Irish deliver first major aid package

Shane Hickey

A STRONG aftershock in Haiti failed to disrupt the first major consignment of emergency humanitarian aid from Ireland getting into the disaster zone.

More than 80 tonnes of blankets, plastic sheeting, water tanks and tents were yesterday delivered to Port-au-Prince.

Irish aid agencies Concern and GOAL welcomed the arrival of the aid, which they said was needed desperately by locals who have been left homeless following last week's quake.

The €250,000 worth of goods from the Irish Government was moved from a holding area in the Dominican Republic yesterday and it is expected that the two charities will begin distributing it later today, mainly in the Port-au-Prince area.

A spokesperson for Irish Aid, the Government's overseas development body, said the powerful aftershock which struck 59km west of the capital city yesterday morning did not affect the delivery of the goods.

GOAL's Darren Hanniffy said they needed "all the materials we can get" and that recovery was "hugely frustrating".

Concern's Brid Kennedy said they were happy to get the materials but said "it is a small drop in the ocean".

"It is heading into the rainy season and things like blankets and tents are urgently needed as well as water storage facilities, collapsible cans to help people get water," she said.

Irish Aid said the consignment would be distributed to 8,000 families. It is from one of a number of stockpiles of equipment the Government has built up around the world.

Irish Independent

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