2,5 million euros donated to the FRC Haiti Collection

Over a two-week period, Finns have donated some EUR 2,5 million to the Finnish Red Cross Haiti Collection. Until now, funded by the Finnish Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and ECHO, the FRC has sent to Haiti a mobile clinic, a field hospital operating theatre, a hospital ward with 100 beds, aid supplies, and 34 aid workers

Over a two-week period, Finns have donated some EUR 2,5 million to the Finnish Red Cross Haiti Collection. Until now, funded by the Finnish Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and ECHO, the FRC has sent to Haiti a mobile clinic, a field hospital operating theatre, a hospital ward with 100 beds, aid supplies, and 34 aid workers.

For ten days now, the mobile clinic has been up and operating in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. During this time, the clinic staff have treated more than 1,300 patients. On average, some 150 patients a day have been treated at the clinic. In all, healthcare services provided by the Red Cross are reaching more than 500 patients a day.

– The most common injuries are bruises, deep and infected wounds, skin problems and respiratory infections. Unfortunately, fungal infections, diarrhoea and cholera are also widespread, says Marla Nykyri, head of the Finnish clinic team.

The Finnish-German field hospital will also open its doors this week. Aid workers have been working on setting up the hospital since the weekend. It is expected that by Thursday its staff will be able to receive their first patients. When it is fully operational, the hospital will have the capacity to care for the population of a city the size of Tampere, i.e. 200,000 people.

Companies are involved in the collection – help is still needed

In the past week, corporate donors have made significant contributions to the FRC Haiti Collection. First, small and midsized businesses got involved, each in a way that suited them. Now bigger corporations are also involved.

– It has been particularly good to see how each company wants to contribute in a way that comes naturally to them. While one company challenges all its competitors to get involved, another donates a specific amount for each deal it closes, explains Anna Laurinsilta, fundraising planner for the Finnish Red Cross.

At present, help is still needed for immediate disaster relief and, for instance, for emergency shelters. More than a million people have been forced to leave their homes following the January 12 earthquake. The Finnish Red Cross has the preparedness to send more aid to Haiti in the form of tents and other relief supplies.

– Considering the rainy season begins in early April and the hurricane season in June, we need to find fast and durable solutions. Hurricanes, floods and drought are commonplace in Haiti, and people need help urgently now if they are to survive, says Paula Uski, international aid coordinator at the Finnish Red Cross.

The Finnish Red Cross already has an employee in place in Haiti, assessing what sort of aid will be needed in the country once the disaster relief stage of the operation is over.

Biggest aid operation since the tsunami

The Red Cross aid operation in Haiti is comparable in size to the operation that followed the 2004 tsunami in Asia. At present, there are some 500 Red Cross aid workers in Haiti, assisted by 10,000 Haitian Red Cross volunteers, who began helping the victims immediately after the earthquake.

The Red Cross has sent 547 tons of aid supplies to Haiti. Tents, blankets, tarpaulins, kitchen supplies, water cans and hygiene packs have been distributed to tens of thousands of people in need. The Red Cross is producing nearly half a million litres of clean water every day. The Red Cross has also been helping people to find missing members of their family.

 

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