In the aftermath the Haiti earthquake, which Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive is describing as “the worst catastrophe that has occurred in Haiti in two centuries,” the international community is mobilizing to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, manpower, and supplies to the poor Caribbean nation.
More than 20 countries, scores of private companies, and numerous international humanitarian groups have pledged aid to the western hemisphere’s poorest nation.
The Dominican Republic was the first to deliver aid. Despite tense political ties with its island neighbor, the Dominican government has sent 10 mobile cafeterias capable of serving 100,000 meals a day, heavy debris-removing equipment, and medicine.
President Obama, promising the Haitian people America’s “unwavering support,” dispatched the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier from its port in Norfolk, VA to deliver supplies and crews and has ordered one of the U.S. Navy’s largest amphibious ships, the USS Bataan, to transport a Marine expeditionary unit. Additionally en route from the US are three 70-member search and rescue teams equipped with sniffer dogs and four U.S. Coast Guard cutters.
The United Nations, which lost its headquarters in the Tuesday quake, has released $10 million from its emergency fund for immediate aid. The World Bank has announced it will provide Haiti with $100 million in emergency aid. US President Barack Obama also promised $100 million.
The Canadian Disaster Assistance Response Team left for Haiti Thursday morning to help with search and rescue and begin the cleanup process. The Canadian Ministry of International Cooperation announced today it will match up to $50 million in contributions to registered Canadian charities aiding Haiti.
Support from across the Atlantic is shaping up to be dramatic as well. The European Commission has pledged $4.37 million and on top of that at least 11 individual
European nations are promising tens of millions of dollars in aid and throngs of search-and-rescue (SAR) teams.
Several Asian nations meanwhile have been quick to dispatch supplies and funds. South Korea has pledged $1 million in aid and Taiwan 23 rescue workers while the Japanese government is prepared to give up to $5 million in support along with $330,000 worth of tents and blankets.
China too has made significant efforts to help the Haitian people despite having no diplomatic ties with the Haitian government. An Air China plane landed in Port-au-Prince early Thursday with 10 tons of food, equipment, and medicine. Beijing is also preparing a 60-member SAR team equipped with sniffer dogs and has promised $1 million in emergency aid.
As philanthropic momentum to support Haiti builds, here is an incomplete list of the current international donors:
Australia: $9.3 million aid package, half of which is to be provided immediately.
Brazil: Aircraft delivering water and food, medicine, equipment, and a Search and rescue team with sniffer dogs.
Israel: Two plane loads of aid and rescue staff of 240, including 40 doctors and nurses to set up a field hospital capable of serving 500 people a day.
Switzerland: A rescue team to arrive overland from the Dominican Republic and a plane carrying 40-50 tons of aid is to arrive on Friday.
India: $1 million in support
Venezuela: doctors, firefighters, and rescue workers are en route.
Sweden: $850,000, tents, water purification equipment, medical aid, and a team to rebuild the U.N.’s demolished headquarters.
Cuba: 30 Cuban doctors have already arrived.
Follow the Global News Blog for updates on Haiti throughout the day.