The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

James L. Phelan
Senior External Relations Officer, ACF-USA
Direct: 212-967-7800 x108

Haiti: Access to Water and Sanitation Urgently Needed

ACF teams have mobilized in response to risk of outbreaks of disease


Less than 48 hours after a massive quake devastated parts of western
Haiti, Action Against Hunger's teams already on the ground have fully
mobilized to meet humanitarian needs. External emergency personnel from
Action Against Hunger | ACF International have also
arrived to reinforce relief efforts already taking place, assess needs,
and set up programs to assist disaster victims.

Action Against Hunger's top priority is access to safe water and
sanitation, and the organization is especially concerned about
controlling epidemics, as large swaths of the population are living on
the streets among the deceased. This massive population of homeless
people has no access to adequate sanitation, including latrines, which
greatly increases their risk of disease.

While conditions make it extremely difficult to carry out accurate
assessments-with more than 80% destruction in certain parts of
Port-au-Prince-ACF's initial response will ensure access to clean water
and sanitation, nutritional support for children (especially infants
under six months of age), distributions of food rations, public health
and hygiene promotion, and mental health services for at least the next
several months. Emergency stocks of water and sanitation supplies have
arrived from ACF's programs in the nearby city of Gonaives. These water
treatment stations, vehicles, and communications equipment will enable
the organization to begin mitigating the enormous water and sanitation
challenges facing the Haitian population.

In response to the urgent need for additional emergency water and
sanitation supplies, Action Against Hunger has partnered with Airbus to
send an A340 cargo plane with 150 metric tons of material to Haiti,
including: flexible water tanks, latrines, emergency units of water
treatment, jerry cans, drinking water kits, computers and
communications equipment, and an additional team of four technical

Action Against Hunger expresses its appreciation to Airbus for their
support in sending cargo and to Aquassistance for their provision of
units of water treatment in response to the crisis in Haiti.

Action Against Hunger has implemented programs in Haiti since 1985,
carrying out emergency measures in the areas of health and nutrition.
Since 2001, ACF has focused primarily on food security and water,
sanitation, and hygiene programs in both emergency and development
contexts in Port de Paix, Gonaives, Anse Rouge and Jeremiah.

Read more about Action Against Hunger's response to the earthquake in Haiti.

How You Can Help

Support Action Against Hunger's emergency response teams. Donate now.

Action Against Hunger / Action Contre la Faim (ACF), an international relief and development organization committed to saving the lives of malnourished children and families, provides sustainable access to safe water and long-term solutions to hunger. For nearly three decades, ACF has pursued its vision of a world without hunger by combating hunger in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster, and chronic food insecurity.