Supplies and logistics on the ground in Haiti

Posted on Jan 15, 2010

Dr. Joia Mukherjee, Dr. Louise Ivers, and Dr. David Walton reported from Port-au-Prince this morning to PIH staff in Boston, and we in Boston laid out our plan for getting additional medicines and supplies into the country.

We were lucky enough to be in a position to respond quickly with supplies as our facilities in the Central Plateau and Artibonite Valley had fully stocked pharmacies and staffed wards and operating rooms. Dr. Paul Farmer wrote earlier today, “We find that years of investment in building a strong local partner organization mean that we are again in the position of responding effectively to a natural disaster. We are very proud of our team.”

That said, our supplies are depleting quickly as we treat and care for thousands of patients at our sites and also send trucks into Port-au-Prince multiple times a day to serve many more in need there. Our procurement and logistics team are forging partnerships with organizations in the Dominican Republic with the CHAI team to develop a supply chain that will ensure we can get shipments, containers, and other supplies into Haiti. Our site in Belladare, on the Dominican border, has staff standing by to help deliveries get though customs and into Haiti. We are vetting various shipping methods for efficiency and still trying to get plans into Port-au-Prince, but fortunately, we have already successfully delivered trucks of supplies to Belladare, which are making their way to Port-au-Prince now.

Another big need in the coming days will be fuel, as the whole country is running on generators and both air and ground transportation are of utmost importance to sustaining relief efforts. Finding ways of getting fuel into the country is a huge and looming priority – Dr. Walton suggested this morning that fuel prices in Haiti have soared to $25 per gallon.

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