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Over $520,000 worth of aid being sent to Haiti from Dubai.

Summary: The cargo will be flying out from Dubai World Central (DWC) on Wednesday morning via a plane donated by the UPS Foundation.

More than $520,000 of aid is being flown out of Dubai today to assist more than 800,000 people affected by Hurricane Mathew in Haiti.

Read on: Spare a thought for the billions who wake up hungry

In an exclusive visit to the World Food Programme's (WFP) United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Dubai, Stefano Peveri, Managing Director told Khaleej Times this is the "third shipment to come from Dubai" following the landfall of the category four hurricane which devastated the country on October 4.

"We are packing up 74 metric tonnes of non-food items (NFIs) which will take flight from Dubai tomorrow morning."

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With a combined value of $526,241, the depot staff packed up 12, 40-metre-long trucks between 8:00am and 11:00am during Tuesday's visit.

Among the items on board include kitchen sets, shelter kits, medical kits, and telecommunications tools.

"Our project is like the fire brigade of the emergency process. We help out from the onset until everything is in place," Peveri said.

When it comes to disaster response situations, he said the theory should be "pulling from the field, not pushing from the outside", but in countries where resources are limited, that's when WFP's UNHRD team steps in.

"We have sent out three shipments from Dubai in response to relief efforts to Haiti. The first was actually a few days before the Hurricane hit. We sent out 38 metric tonnes of high energy biscuits to the areas which were due to be affected by hurricane Mathew."

It also loaded the 747B-400 aircraft which belongs to His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with 83 metric tonnes of aid last Thursday.

As many as 806,000 people have been left in need of immediate food and aid assistance following the October 4 disaster.

The current death toll sits at 546 and 175, 509 people have been left displaced, according to WFP's Situation Report #11.

When asked if there was demand for any particular aid in situations like this, Peveri said cholera kits are "an essential".

"When disasters affect the water systems in an area - much like in Haiti right now - cholera kits are in high demand."

As well as sending test and treatment kits for cholera, they also send water and sanitation aid.

Though strategic plans are set out to respond to emergency situations quickly, Peveri said the process is very much like "launching a missile, then fixing the problems along the route".

"Our project is a prepositioning tool for emergency disasters. We have the supplies in our warehouses from different organisations, but as the days go on we adjust our shipment numbers depending on need."

The WFP UNHRD has 28 partners including Save the Children, and World Vision International.

It has so far reached 58,000 people in Haiti with food rations and aid consisting of rice, pulses, vegetable oil and salt. As of 17 October, it has transported 1,542 metric tonnes of aid to Les Cayes and Jeremie.

kelly@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:5HAIT
Date:Oct 18, 2016
Words:561
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