Al-Imdaad FoundationAL-IMDAAD FOUNDATION
14 Feb 2010

AIF's Humanitarian Role in Haiti

The Al-Imdaad Foundation dispatched its team of relief workers to assist in the earthquake-stricken region of Haiti on 22 January 2010.They were based in the Dominican Republic, and co-ordinated a massive food distribution drive in Port-au-Prince(the largest thus far of African origin) during the week of February 08. The South African ambassador to Cuba, HE Phatse Justice Piitso met the AIF team before the convoy of trucks left to deliver over 100 tons of aid to the affected population. AIF trucks transporting food packages, water buckets and gas stoves, fresh drinking water and other essentials were based at Port-au-Prince International Airport under armed guard. The distribution drive occurred on Wednesday February 10th under the protection of the United Nations Jordanian battalion. Proudly bearing the South African flag, AIF first handed out relief items at an orphanage destroyed by the quake, and then to residents of an area called Taba. The final leg of the distribution drive was conducted in collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme. Recipients included some poor UN staff, who formally expressed their gratitude to the AIF team for their assistance. More than 20 000 people in total benefited from the food distribution drive. Qari Ziyaad Patel, projects coordinator at AIF who headed our organization’s mission in Haiti, reported that it was a huge success. Throughout the AIF’s stay in Haiti, the team enjoyed a close working relationship with the Emergency Operations Committee which included the Department of International Relations and Co-operation and the South African National Disaster Management Centre. The Al-Imdaad Foundation’s relief activities featured prominently in the local TV and other media in Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince, and government officials there publicly expressed their gratitude to South Africa for their commitment to assisting the Haitian people. The AIF team also conducted interviews with South African radio stations while in Haiti, providing updates on our relief efforts. AIF remains committed to providing ongoing assistance to the people of Haiti in the long term. We are currently assessing the possibility of constructing water projects and a village of homes similar to those we built in Banda Ache in 2005. Please view our website for pictures from the food distribution drive in Haiti together with a letter of support from WFP.
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