Humanitarian Aid from Mexico Arrives in HaitiBy Paloma Duran | Mon, 08/16/2021 - 18:00
President López Obrador said that Mexico will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Haiti by sending three planes with supplies, food and medicine for those affected by Saturday's earthquake. In addition, the Haitian authorities announced a state of emergency in the country, as the death toll could rise due to the tropical depression Grace that is expected to reach the country´s coast.
After Saturday´s earthquake , López Obrador instructed the National Coordination of Civil Protection and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Navy and National Defense to prepare aid plans and supplies immediately.
“Haiti is going through many economic, political and now humanitarian problems. We have to be very supportive with everyone, especially with those who need it,” said López Obrador.
SEDENA deployed two planes carrying 18.4 tons of supplies; while the Ministry of the Navy (SEMAR) prepared 3.6 tons of supplies using another plane. Laura Velázquez, National Coordinator of Civil Protection, announced that today at 01:00 am the two SEDENA planes arrived in Haiti, while at 10:00 am SEMAR’s plane arrived.
The government reported the first two planes carried medicine, food and water, while the last one carried food, cots, blankets, wheelbarrows and shovels. Mexican authorities explained that the supplies transported to Haiti were coordinated by the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation and the Mexican ambassador to Haiti, Jesús Valdés Peña.
Currently, Haiti is in a state of emergency after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook the country on Saturday, leaving at least 1,297 dead and more than 5,700 injured. The earthquake destroyed 13,694 homes and damaged another 13,785. Additionally, some hospitals have been damaged, while others are at full capacity. Roads are also blocked, making it difficult to transport vital supplies and patients.
Haitian authorities explained that the earthquake was less damaging than the 2010 earthquake that killed 220,000-300,000 people; however, the country still finds itself in a difficult position because it was still recovering from that earthquake.
In addition, authorities fear that the official death toll could rise as tropical depression Grace is expected to hit the coast between Monday and Tuesday morning, further exacerbating the country's crisis. US National Hurricane Center (NHC) explained that Grace could traverse affected areas of the country and drench them with up to 15 inches of rain, increasing the risk of flooding and landslides.
In addition, the country is currently experiencing a political crisis since President Jovenel Moise was assassinated last month, a crime that has not been properly explained and investigated. "We are concerned that this earthquake is just one more crisis on top of what the country is already facing, including the worsening political stalemate after the president's assassination, COVID-19 and food insecurity," said Jean-Wickens Merone, a spokesman at World Vision Haiti.