Response By WFP Logistics To The Earthquake In Haiti

Published on 13 January 2010

Offloading equipment in Haiti earlier this year.

Copyright: WFP/Niels Olsen

Staff situation

  • WFP international staff is safe and accounted for, while national staff is still being contacted to confirm their well-being. The WFP office in Port-au-Prince is in good condition, as are WFP sub-offices in Cap Haitian and Gonaives, both of which are operational.

Infrastructure and Logistics Information

  • Most UN buildings have collapsed. The MINUSTAH compound has been severely damaged and the UNICEF building is partially destroyed. In addition, government buildings, including the Presidential Palace, the Parliament and several Ministries, have been seriously damaged. Most hotels have been destroyed.
  • Security is of major concern and is expected to remain so in the aftermath of this disaster.
  • The airport in Port-au-Prince is apparently open, but all flights have been cancelled. Roads from the airport to the city have been damaged.
  • The airport in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic is operational and flights are available.
  • Roads from Santo Domingo to the Haiti border are operational, as are international airports and local ports.
  • The WFP Office in the Dominican Republic has rented several SUVs to prepare for a large response out of Santo Domingo.
  • 86 MT of high energy biscuits prepositioned in the WFP sub-regional depot in El Salvador. A chartered aircraft will as soon as possible transport these to Santo Domingo.
  • The Logistics and ICT Clusters are already active in the country, but they will need to be reinforced.

Comments

Anonymous-

You are correct. Helicopters are incredibly valuable. We are moving two Mi-171 helicopters into the region and they will soon be operational.

Regards,

Web Team

Glenn-

Thanks for the suggestion but airdrops are highly specialized and follow strict protocols. If the current environment does not allow for drops the team will not initiate them.

Our Deputy Chief of Aviation, Philippe Martou, recently outlined the procedures here: http://bit.ly/4QOZYz

If food airdrops become an option we will certainly let you know.

Regards,

WFP Logistics Blog Team

In light of the logistics problems in moving food and supplies, will it not be more productive and helpful to send in helicopters from the WFP Air wing? Surely, the donations would take care of heli operations?

I'm wondering if it would make any sense to airdrop the high energy biscuits directly to the people in need, either individually or in small units slowed by parachute. The same could be said of water. These folks are in dire need, they are scattered throughout a huge area lacking any semblance of a transportation system and time is of he essence.

Anonymous-

We are considering all options. We will have more for you on Monday. Thanks for the heads up.

Regards,

Log Blog Team

Why concentrate all your logistics in Santo Domingo when a much closer airport is available in Barahona?

It is barely used, fully operational and within 45 minutes of the Jimani border crossing into Haiti.

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