Gerardo and his team in Central America are working almost non-stop these days, following up on every lead, meeting every contact that could help us get in to Haiti and deliver aid to the animals trapped in the traumatic post-earthquake situation. It continues to be a great challenge to get information out of, or aid into Port au Prince, as communications infrastructure and other facilities are yet to be restored.
The picture being painted by those news reports that do make it out of Haiti is heart-wrenching: this appears to be the worst disaster that the world has faced for a long time, and even though humanitarian aid is beginning to trickle in now, the sheer need is simply overwhelming. The death toll is mounting, and people are fearful for surviving members of their families, struggling to protect them not only against starvation, disease and injuries from the earthquake, but also from the violence that has erupted in many parts of the town.
As the United Nations Security Council and US military send troops in to help stem this violence, we hope the situation will be brought under control over the next few days, making it possible for us to send in our contingent of aid for the animals.
While there is an urgency to meet the Haitian’s immediate needs, we also need to consider the lengthy road to recovery that lies ahead of them. Time and time again, our work in natural disasters around the world has proved that communities return to normalcy much quicker, and far more sustainably, if the entire community is included in the plan – including its animal population. With all the support we are getting, from our supporters and our allies in the ARCH coalition, we are certain that we will be able to help make this happen.