Sunday, January 17, 2010: Following the occurrence of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, January 12 which caused widespread death and destruction, Food for the Poor Jamaica (FFP) is integrally involved in the national effort to provide assistance to our brothers and sisters in Haiti and is already offering logistical and technical support to assist in the relief efforts.
One significant area of assistance is that yesterday Food for the Poor Inc offered its compound in Haiti to be used as the operations base for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF). They have already moved into the location. That compound has an FFP organisation-wide internet telephone plus all office, warehousing, and distribution facilities, and all is now at the disposal of the Jamaica Defence Force.
"FFP Jamaica has already sent medical supplies with the Salvation Army and the Ministry of Health who both had flights which left Jamaica last week Thursday and Friday, plus eight generators were sent with the very first JDF vessel that went into Haiti last week" explained CEO of Food For The Poor Jamaica, Mr. Ryan Peralto.
Thousands of homes were completely destroyed as a result of the earthquake so much of FFP's assistance will be directed toward rebuilding homes for those who were affected. To this end, FFP Jamaica has opened a special bank account with National Commercial bank (NCB) where persons can make direct financial donations. The account number is 47-104-3885. It should be noted that FFP's operating costs account for less than 4% of the value of the donations it receives.
"While we are encouraged by the response of the public so far, we continue to seek donations of cash to further our efforts in providing relief to the Haitians" continued Mr. Peralto. "We need cash in particular to assist in purchasing materials for temporary shelters, plus the next stage, that of rebuilding homes in the badly ravaged capital city and implore all persons to make a contribution to our account at NCB, no matter the size of the donation."
FFP has also advised that donations of goods (canned food, clothing) are being collated by NCB, BNS, the FFP's Western Committee, Stella Maris, and Azans (Regal Plaza) . These partners are sorting, packaging, and labeling and FFP will facilitate the shipping arrangements.
"Through our Florida office, we have already sent 100 containers of rice, canned food and medical supplies to Haiti -- most of which is already in place in Port-au-Prince and being distributed" Mr. Peralto continued.
In an effort to get as many aid items into Haiti as quickly as possible, Food For The Poor Inc is directing additional food, water and medical supplies into the Dominican Republic to be sent over the border and into the hands of the hurting Haitian people. The charity will also be sending pallets of critically needed medical items by air directly into Port-au-Prince on Sunday.
"We continue to pray for the people of Haiti and will continue to respond to the needs of our less fortunate brothers and sisters as they embark on the awesome task of rebuilding their lives" said Mr. Peralto.
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