Earthquake Haiti – Three months after the disaster:
“For many Haitians survival still is a matter of priority” - 6.4 million Euros raised for relief and rehabilitation
Port-au-Prince/Logne/Cologne. ”Even now, three months after the quake the daily survival still is a matter of priority for many Haitians,” explains Beate Maass, Haiti project coordinator of Malteser International, the relief service of the Order of Malta for worldwide humanitarian aid. “After a period of relative stability, the security situation – unfortunately - has again changed for the worse. Thefts and robberies are on the increase and there have been several kidnappings,” she tells.
According to the project coordinator there are no visible indicators of reconstruction measures yet, but the majority of the families who had lost their houses in the quake have been provided with tents and tarpaulins – at least in the urban areas. Moreover, cleanup efforts are making progress. However, Beate Maass observes further problems in the field of mental traumata: “In our health centres we had a lot of patients with physical symptoms like head and limb aches, concentration difficulties or insomnia for which there was no organic cause.” Malteser International will therefore organise short trainings for the local medical doctors and nurses where they will learn to diagnose mental problems in order to refer patients with such symptoms to appropriate institutions. In addition, Malteser International will provide psychosocial care in the communities. On 12 January, a devastating earthquake destroyed large parts of Haiti, claiming more than 200,000 lives and leaving one million people homeless. Malteser International as the international relief service of the Order of Malta is coordinating the humanitarian activities of the worldwide network of the Order. In March, all associations and relief services of the Order dedicated to provide relief for the people in Haiti adopted a “master plan” for a sustainable reconstruction and rehabilitation of the country; in the long term, all relief activities will be integrated in the national structures. Malteser International is grateful for the great generosity of the population and the international network of the Order: donations amounting to 6.4 million Euros enable Malteser International to implement sustainable relief and rehabilitation activities. Only three days after the quake an eight-strong Malteser International team had left for the crisis region. Since then, international teams consisting of medical doctors, nurses, logisticians and coordinators have been working in the health centres in Logne and Darbonne as well as in Port-au-Prince and Petit Goave. Furthermore, Malteser International supports the hospital Sacre Coeur in the north of the country. Attention editors: Beate Maass, project coordinator of Malteser International in Haiti, is available for interviews. (Contact: +49 221 / 98 22 155). Photo gallery Haiti: http://php.malteser.de/cpg133/index.php?cat=51