PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – Haitian Interim President, Jocelerme Privert, told Project HOPE Friday, October 7th that humanitarian needs are increasing rapidly after Hurricane Matthew unleashed massive flooding and widespread destruction, claiming hundreds of lives.
The President and First Lady, Ginette Michaud Privert, met with Project HOPE’s disaster relief team in Port-au-Prince on Friday amid growing concerns about a surge in cholera cases and other illnesses.
“President Privert said he is addressing the immediate need for food, shelter and health care, but also wants to focus on rehabilitating systems that were damaged or destroyed by the storm such as the health, agricultural and education sectors,” said Teresa Narvaez, Project HOPE’s Country Director in the Dominican Republic and a member of the team that met with Haiti’s President and First Lady.
Ms. Narvaez said the Interim President expressed gratitude for all aid coming into the country but emphasized that it must be coordinated through the correct channels and overseen by the government.
Project HOPE is preparing a shipment of medical supplies, including water hydration tablets, gloves, saline solution, sponges, gauze, water purification units, generators and more.
The global health NGO will deploy additional disaster relief experts this weekend and is building a team of medical volunteers to be ready for rapid deployment.
HOPE is working with the Haitian government to identify areas of greatest need and is prepared to shift its response to ensure that its donated supplies reach those in need and that medical volunteers are deployed where they are needed most.
Repeated cholera outbreaks present an on-going challenge in Haiti. Since the Haiti earthquake in 2010, Project HOPE has sent medical volunteers to train and assist local health care professionals in areas affected by cholera.
The NGO partnered with the U.S. Navy to care for more than 1,000 Haitians aboard the hospital ship, USNS Comfort, in the aftermath of the earthquake and distributed more than $60 million of medicines and medical supplies one year later.