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Relief Organizations Scramble to Assess Damage in Haiti
Date:1/13/2010

third world countries. 'I have found that it is ordinary people working together who do the most good in the face of disaster,' he said.

Untold thousands of Haitians are feared dead. Even foreigners are among the missing. The head of the UN mission in Haiti, Hedi Annabi, is reported missing. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is thought to be dead. What the final count will be is really unimaginable at this time.

The damage is so massive assessments have yet to be made. 'We are just trying to save as many people from the rubble as we can,' Wendy from CrossWorld, which works with a national association of Haitian churches, explained in a phone call with Good Neighbor Insurance staff. 'The earthquake has caused severe shortages of food and water. Even the healthy could easily become sick from lack of sanitation, good food and clean water.'

Already a heart-wrenchingly poor country, Haiti will need foreign aid workers again soon. With all of the death, hands to help will be needed as soon as they can be accommodated. There is no knowing at this time how much infrastructure will be rebuilt before foreign aid workers begin pouring into Haiti. “I am concerned that American aid workers understand the precarious conditions in Haiti and take the proper precautions,” Jeff said. "We work with almost 100 organizations that send teams to just such places as devastated as Haiti and are familiar with what they will need to stay healthy and effective."

'Sending foreign workers into Haiti isn’t really possible because of the chaos and damaged infrastructure,' Wendy says. 'At this time money would be the biggest help.'

Jeff counters, 'But it won’t be long until relief organizations will be able to go in and help. The task facing them will be daunting and dangerous.'

Besides practical considerations like bringing sturdy close toed shoes and work gloves, aid workers will need to plan for the
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