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Earthquake in Haiti – Update on French effort (02/19/10)

Publié le February 20, 2010
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
Paris, February 19, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti: Summary of French aid

1. Evacuations and repatriations

From January 13 to February 18, 5 daily round-trip flights between Haiti and the French West Indies evacuated 3,007 people, including 1,311 French nationals, 1,217 Haitians, 50 non-French European citizens, 57 people of other nationalities and 372 adopted children. More than 150 welcome receptions were organized by French services in airports in the French West Indies and metropolitan France.

Regrettably, 29 French nationals died and 4 were reported missing.

More than 18,500 calls were received by the crisis center between January 13 and 28 regarding the situation of approximately 4,500 people.

2. Emergency relief phase

France immediately mobilized its efforts. The first international emergency relief team arrived from the French West Indies on January 13 at 12:35 pm (local time). 11 planes chartered by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, 3 to 5 round-trip flights between the French West Indies and Haiti (military and Sécurité Civile [emergency services] DASH 8 planes) and the deployment of 2 Marine Nationale [French Navy] vessels on January 19 and 24 transported up to 1,173 French personnel and almost 2,000 tons of humanitarian equipment. This equipment included in particular 1,500 tents, 500 blankets, 200 tarpaulins, and 14 power generators.

The rescue phase, which began on January 13 and involved 250 rescuers from the Sécurité Civile [emergency services], ended on January 22. French rescuers worked on 19 sites were able to extricate 16 survivors from the rubble.

Provision of medical care to the Haitian population began on January 13. Efforts gathered momentum on January 18, with the deployment of a Sécurité Civile field hospital (70 medical personnel), complemented by 4 military detachments providing medical support (48 medical teams). In all, the 160 medical personnel, including SAMU [mobile emergency medical service] personnel, treated more than 17,000 people, hospitalized 2,550 people and carried out 1,300 surgical procedures. This phase will end on February 22 with the withdrawal of the field hospital.

4 water purification units were installed from January 16 to17 with the capacity to supply 40,000 people. They supplied 689,000 liters of water.

3. From emergency phase to reconstruction

French emergency relief efforts are scheduled to come to an end at the end of February.

During this second phase, the French effort focused on supporting the people. French capabilities carried out several operations to deliver humanitarian aid and also helped in the construction of several tent villages in Port-au-Prince and Hinche.

The President of the Republic, the first French Head of State to visit Haiti, announced in Haiti on February 17 financial aid of €326 million over two years and support for the reconstruction of Port-au-Prince’s State University Hospital.

Further aid in the form of equipment will be supplied to the Haitians, including 1,000 tents, 16,000 tarpaulins, almost 2,500 beds and several hundred lighting units, making it possible to provide temporary shelter for 200,000 people. 250 vehicles (police and gendarmerie vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks) will also be sent. Part of this aid will be transported by cargo plane on February 22, the rest will be sent by sea.

An interministerial mission led by Pierre Duquesne is tasked with coordinating and implementing French aid and preparing for the New York Conference on reconstruction in Haiti scheduled for March 2010. The French West Indies will host an international conference for local government authorities in preparation for the New York Conference.

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