Humanitarian Crisis in Haiti: FFTP Delivers Urgent Aid to Salvation Army, Church Shelters
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (July 16, 2021) In the face of repeated violence and upheaval since the assassination of Haiti’s president, Food For The Poor is taking extraordinary measures to get aid to people who need it most.
On Thursday, two trucks with incognito “spotters” on motorcycles leading the way delivered lifesaving food and other supplies to families sheltering in the Salvation Army center.
Today, relief kits from FFTP were distributed to displaced families at the parish of St. Martin and St. Yves.
The FFTP team in Haiti mobilized on Thursday after Bishop Oge Beauvoir, Executive Director of FFTP-Haiti, received an urgent plea for help from the Salvation Army after the number of displaced people it was serving quickly more than doubled to 1,300.
“Their rations were depleted and they were in dire need of assistance,” said Mario Nicoleau, FFTP-Haiti’s Chief Operating Officer.
The Salvation Army center is located in an area overrun by gangs, where one of the hospitals treating COVID-19 patients had to shut down because of the violence.
The FFTP convoy heard gunshots en route but delivered the items and returned safely.
Among the items distributed Thursday were 200 bags of rice, 70 bags of beans, 100 cases of rice meals, 50 cases of pork and beans, 10 cases of hand sanitizer, 14 drums that can be used to store water, and about 150 blankets. The relief kits provided to St. Martin and St. Yves included beans, corn meal, cheese, Vienna sausages plus rice from the Republic of China (Taiwan) that was donated to FFTP.
As families were forced from their homes, gangs burned down parts of their neighborhoods, said Maj. Vilo Exantus, of the Salvation Army in Delmas.
“We feed them every day,” Maj. Exantus said. “They’re in great need, especially the ones whose homes were burnt because they lost everything they ever owned.”
Maj. Exantus expressed gratitude for FFTP’s aid, especially blankets as many are sleeping on the floor.
“Thank you to Bishop Oge and Food For The Poor, which made this possible,” he said.
Zamir Edline, who recently had a cesarean section for the safe delivery of her baby, ran to the Salvation Army center with her two children and their father after gangs kicked them out of their home.
“We have food now. We have water. We have bathrooms,” Zamir said. “But that doesn’t mean we’re comfortable. We’re OK, but this isn’t home. We’re hoping things get better so we can eventually leave.”
For weeks, Haiti has been rocked by months of civil unrest, rampant gang violence and a spike in COVID-19 cases, culminating in the assassination of the nation’s President Jovenel Moïse on July 7. Some 19,000 people have been displaced in the Port-au-Prince area due to gang activity, up from 15,000 at the beginning of June.
“In the midst of all this chaos, Food For The Poor continues to provide aid to families who are desperate for help,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said. “It is always a day-to-day matter. Nothing is easy. But we are a Christian mission that believes passionately that God is on our side.”
Earlier this month, in a similar courageous fashion, FFTP delivered lifesaving supplies to four empty distribution centers in the southern part of the country, using a window of opportunity provided by Hurricane Elsa as the storm threatened the country and briefly quieted gangs on the streets.
Unable to navigate the dangerous roads for weeks due to blockades, leaders at FFTP-Haiti began to formulate a plan to move goods as soon as the worst of the storm passed. A convoy of 10 40-foot tractor-trailers and two box trucks delivered aid to FFTP distribution centers in Jacmel, Jérémie, Anse-à-Veau and Léogâne.
“It was really a moment of huge joy for our team who had been so frustrated with not being able to help those families in the south and southwestern part of the country,” Raine said. “Food For The Poor has been in Haiti for 35 years. The country desperately needs for us to do our jobs and the only way we can do those jobs is through the generosity of our donors.”
The charity has launched an emergency appeal to raise funds to purchase food and other critically needed supplies in Haiti such as personal protective equipment.
There are three ways donors can help FFTP deliver aid to Haiti:
- Make a cash donation. Go to www.foodforthepoor.org/haitirelief.
- Purchase and donate items through FFTP’s AmazonSmile Charity List: www.FoodForThePoor.org/emergencysupplies.
- Bring canned goods to the charity’s Coconut Creek warehouse, 6401 Lyons Road, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information on the specific items accepted, please go to www.FoodForThePoor.org/help-now/haiti-crisis/
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
954-427-2222 x 6054