Convoy Of Hope Spokesman Calls The Situation In Haiti "Chaotic"
Springfield-based Convoy of Hope is distributing more than 3 and a half million meals in Haiti, where a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck last Sunday about 78 miles west of the capitol, Port Au Prince. Soon after the earthquake, Haiti was impacted by Tropical Storm Grace. Ethan Forhetz, the organization’s vice president for public engagement, said they’re working to meet immediate needs.
“Food for one is a big need there right now. They’re also in need of water filtration systems, purification systems, tarps and sheltering items as well as medical supplies, hygiene kits, lanterns—those are all the sorts of things that we’re working on providing for the people of Haiti right now," he said.
Convoy of Hope has been working in Haiti since 2006, according to Forhetz, so they already had a team there in different locations on the island. He said they were ready to go as soon as the earthquake hit.
"We have several warehouses there with food that's already been stocked in the warehouses," he said. "We were very fortunate that all of our warehouses were full of food as part of our children's feeding program in which we feed more than 100,000 kids every school day there in Haiti."
Forhetz described the situation in Haiti as chaotic, "and there are parts that look like a war zone according to our people on the ground...buildings just knocked over, destroyed and then they're also dealing with issues like gangs controlling some of the roads, which is making it difficult for us to get the products to where they need to be, so we've figured out ways around that. We're using a lot of the water surrounding the island to move supplies to parts of the island that we need to get to."
Convoy of Hope is committed to being in Haiti for the long haul to help in any way needed, according to Forhetz.
To make a donation to help Convoy of Hope respond to the disaster in Haiti, visit convoyofhope.org.