Update: PADF Rushes To Aid Victims of Tropical Storm Isaac in Haiti

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti (August 27, 2012) - A disaster response team from the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) rushed emergency aid this past weekend to affected areas after Tropical Storm Isaac beat down on Haiti destroying homes, flooding towns, and littering the streets with debris.

“Houses have been completely smashed and torn apart,” said Marie Kinsta Latigue, Vice-Coordinator for the local Civil Protection Committee, from Marigot, one of the hardest hit towns located along the coast in the Sud-Est Department. “The river is flooded with dirt or debris, and access points have been cut-off. Drinking water is difficult to find.”

Immediately, PADF rushed 3,600 bottles of water to the local committee in Marigot and to the nearby town of Cayes-Jacmel where community leaders distributed the much-needed water to families battered by Isaac. PADF was the first to arrive on the scene, and was able to provide immediate assistance.

PADF’s urban community development project also used its extensive network of community organizations and contacts on the ground to get accurate assessments of the damage in Port-au-Prince. In the slums and densely populated areas, destruction of homes was reported in the Cité Soleil tent camps of Tobacco Regie and Carrefour Route 9, as well as Acra Field in Delmas 32 and Land Pere. Multiple shanty-homes in the coastal slum of Wharf Jeremie were also badly affected. PADF provided water, beds, and hundreds of protein supplements and nutrition shakes.

Throughout the storm, PADF maintained close contact with the local civil protection committees who work under the government’s National Civil Protection Directorate (DPC) to coordinate the next steps on the government’s recovery efforts. Water and shelter remain important priorities, and PADF will continue to engage with communities on the ground to obtain updated information on priorities and current needs.

To help PADF provide immediate assistance to affected communities, go to www.padf.org/donate. You can also contribute by calling toll-free at 877.572.4484.

Follow PADF on Twitter at @PADFORG and Facebook to get updates on the latest information.

PADF has been active in Haiti for over 30 years, and has consistently worked to improve the lives and livelihoods of the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

PADF Mobilizes Disaster Relief Team as Tropical Storm Isaac Prepares To Strike Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (August 24, 2012) – As Tropical Storm Isaac approaches Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is working closely with government entities and local partners in the island of Hispaniola to prepare for the storm.

Tropical Storm Isaac, which shows maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (80 km/h), is expected to pass just south of the Dominican Republic and make landfall in western Haiti later today, according to the National Hurricane Center. At present, Isaac is moving at 15 mph (24 km/h). A hurricane warning has been issued for Haiti and a tropical storm watch is in place for the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Watch NASA video of Tropical Storm Isaac

“We need to get to the communities as soon as possible,” says Dan O’Neil, Senior Director for Caribbean Programs who is in Port-au-Prince to assist with response preparations. “We’ve been working in these communities for a long time. We know that it is in the hours after the disaster passes that they need the most help. Our disaster response team needs to do more than just document the flooding. They need to provide the first of the relief supplies.”

PADF is planning to send out a disaster response team on Saturday and Sunday to affected areas in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to assess any storm damage and provide relief, added O’Neil.

Haiti in particular remains highly vulnerable to flooding. Extensive damage could result from prolonged rains, increasing the risk of flooding and mudslides that threaten lives and property.

“Haiti’s worst damage has come from tropical storms that moved slowly, not from major hurricanes,” said O’Neil.

When Tropical Storm Emily, considered weak by Atlantic tropical storm standards, struck the Caribbean in August 2011, it caused fatalities, widespread flooding, mudslides, and infrastructural losses. In 2005 Tropical Storm Alpha followed a path similar to the one forecast for Isaac. At that time, river waters flooded the southern coastal town of Anse-à-Pitre, in Haiti, leaving the community under three feet of water and destroying livestock, properties, and people’s livelihoods.

To help PADF provide immediate assistance to affected communities, go towww.padf.org/donate. You can also contribute by calling toll-free at 877.572.4484.

Follow PADF on Twitter at @PADFORG and Facebook to get updates on the latest information.

PADF has been active in Haiti for over 30 years, and has consistently worked to improve the lives and livelihoods of the country’s most vulnerable citizens.


About PADF

PADF is the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States, established in 1962 to implement integral socio-economic development programs for disadvantaged people, to strengthen civil society and community groups in support of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2011, it helped more than 7.5 million beneficiaries in 23 countries. Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF has field offices in Haiti, Colombia and other countries. www.padf.org

Contact:

U.S.
Hearly G. Mayr
Director of Communications and Public Affairs
+1.202.280.3846, hmayr@padf.org