COCONUT CREEK, FL (ANS) — For weeks, Haiti has been beset by a humanitarian crisis fueled by civil unrest, gang violence and a spike in COVID-19 infections.
In the post-storm hours of Sunday morning, a convoy of ten 40-foot tractor tractors and two auxiliary trucks pulled out of the Food For The Poor-Haiti compound in Port-au-Prince at 6:30 a.m.
Their mission, thoughtfully and courageously planned over the previous days, was to deliver lifesaving supplies to four empty distribution centers in the southern part of the country.
The first container and two trucks arrived safely in Léogâne, Haiti, at 9:55 a.m. The people in that community would have food and other essential goods, thanks to generous donors and brave drivers.
By mid-afternoon, drivers and their goods also had made it safely to Jacmel, Anse-à-Veau and Jeremie.
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Bishop Oge Beauvoir, Executive Director of FFTP-Haiti, stood in the charity’s compound with Mario Nicoleau, Chief Operating Officer, and saw the trucks off on their journey.
“By the grace of God, we pray everything will be OK, and people in the south will get enough to eat because for the last four weeks all of our centers for distribution in the south have been empty,” Beauvoir said.
The plan was conceived when the “opportunity” of Hurricane Elsa presented itself. Unable to navigate the dangerous roads for weeks, leaders at FFTP-Haiti began to formulate a plan to move goods as soon as the worst of the storm passed.
“It’s a joy this morning to get this organized to make sure people in the south finally will get something to eat,” Beauvoir said. “Thank you to all of you friends from America, who have been our supporters. You have been our friends and pillars. So thank you and we bless God for this opportunity.”
Members of the United States team were watching and praying on Sunday morning, knowing the team in Haiti was facing a dangerous but necessary mission to resupply the centers. Earlier forays out on the roads had resulted in drivers being shot at and stopped, their trucks being used to block the roads.
“This is an extraordinary team effort from FFTP-Haiti,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said, after all the trucks arrived safely. “We are so blessed and so proud of you. So many people will benefit from your determination to serve. Thanks be to God.”
At the same time the urgent mission was unfolding in Haiti, the FFTP-Jamaica team also was dealing with the rain and wind dealt out by a stubborn and intermittent Hurricane and Tropical Storm Elsa.
While the storm was not as bad as forecast, the devastating damage from flooding was evident in photos sent by the team in Jamaica. The Grants Pen roadway, St. Thomas, was washed away where highway construction had been under way. Road construction in general exacerbated the early season storm.
Nakhle Hado, in charge of disaster preparedness for FFTP-Jamaica, said the team there was prepared to respond in whatever ways needed after the storm had passed.
In Haiti, Bishop Oge Beauvoir thanked the people of Taiwan for the provision of rice, as the trucks pulled out of the warehouse lot behind him.
“These containers are full of rice and beans,” Beauvoir said. “The rice is from our friends from Taiwan. We have been blessed throughout our friendship and partnership with Taiwan that allows us to feed so many people in Haiti, thousands of families every month.”
FFTP-Haiti will receive 440 lifesaving tractor-trailer loads of rice in 2021 from the Republic of China (Taiwan).
The shipments for 2021 will equal 8,800 tons of rice, or 22 percent more than last year.
The charity has more than 130 containers of aid either en route to Haiti, at the port or in its warehouse in Port-au-Prince, including the rice from Taiwan.
Watch Bishop Oge Beauvoir’s message here: www.foodforthepoor.org/haitidistribution
There are three ways donors can help FFTP deliver aid to Haiti:
** Make a cash donation. Go to www.foodforthepoor.org/haitirelief.
** Purchase and donate items through FFTP’s AmazonSmile Charity List: www.FoodForThePoor.org/emergencysupplies.
** Bring canned goods to the charity’s Coconut Creek warehouse, 6401 Lyons Road, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information on the specific items accepted, please go to www.FoodForThePoor.org/help-now/haiti-crisis