Humanitarian relief efforts underway in Haiti, as Washington-based organization mobilizes disaster response

A humanitarian organization based in our region is mobilizing disaster response in Haiti.

World Vision based in Federal Way currently has about 400 team members in Haiti. A few of them have been on the ground assessing damage in southwest Haiti at the epicenter of the earthquake.

This aerial image shows a general view of the city of Port-de-Paix, on October 8, 2018. (Photo credit: HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Marcel Viscarra is the World Vision National Director in Haiti and said the timing of Tropical Depression Grace couldn’t come at a worse time.

"Well it’s one after the other honestly. It’s been a very difficult period for Haitians to cope with," said Viscarra. "You have the political arena as well. As you probably know, the president was assassinated a little over a month ago and gang and criminal activity is on the rise because of this situation."

As a result, Viscarra said supplies that are ready to ship need to be sent by air because gangs and criminal activity control certain areas on the ground between Port-au-Prince and western Haiti.

RELATED: Haiti earthquake: Death toll rises to 1,419 as severe weather looms

The organization will focus its disaster response on supplying food, water and shelter. In the next day or two, the emergency response will send support to cover about 6-thousand people.

The damage is widespread and the death toll is climbing. Homes have been destroyed, and hospitals are overwhelmed.

"It is the time to help out. It is the time to provide Haiti with the ability to get out of this crisis, after crisis, after crisis and there are a number of structural problems that we have to deal with in the country," said Viscarra.

If you’d like to support humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti, learn more about World Vision’s Disaster Relief Fund.


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