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Canadian Medical Missions in Haiti

March 20, 2010

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KRON, Pa. – Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) medical teams and structural engineers are providing immediate assistance in Haiti now, and distributions of food and relief supplies are ongoing even as MCC plans the next steps in its multiyear response to the Jan. 12 earthquake.

A five-person MCC medical team from Canada is serving in Port-au-Prince March 7 to 20. A three-person medical team from the United States will be in Haiti from March 21 to April 3.

Short-term teams of structural engineers that began arriving in January have examined more than 250 buildings, and MCC is seeking additional engineers who are interested in serving in Haiti this spring.

MCC continues to provide rations of rice, beans, cooking oil, canned meat and spaghetti to nine communities, reaching at least 6,000 people who have been forced from home by the earthquake. It is likely that food is also being given to additional relatives and friends, echoing the strong emphasis on sharing in Haitian culture.

MCC is also providing materials for bamboo and cement-base showers for people living in camps of displaced people. Those living in the camps had identified the need for a private space to wash, especially for women, said Betty Kasdorf, MCC’s Food, Disaster and Material Resources program manager.

MCC relief kits, tarps for shelter, comforters and flat sheets are being distributed as soon as they arrive in Haiti, and additional shipments are on their way to Haiti. Because of expected Haitian government changes that might slow items coming through customs after April, MCC is striving to ship all its initial emergency material aid in the next three to four weeks.

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