The death toll from Tropical Storm Jeanne shot up to an estimated 1,500 Saturday, with 900 Haitians still missing as a thunderstorm drenched the homeless who are living on rooftops and sidewalks. Meanwhile relief efforts nationally and internationally have been working to provide aid for the desperate victims in the Caribbean regions.
According to the Associated Press, U.N. peacekeepers said they were sending reinforcements to help keep order among desperate survivors who have been looting aid trucks and mobbing food distribution centers. Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue estimated more than 1,500 dead, said Paul Magloire, an adviser. At least 900 more were missing. Some 300,000 are homeless, most in the northwestern city of Gonaives.
World Vision Haiti, the local branch of the international Christian relief and development agency, is providing support to agencies managing the response in Gonaives and surrounding areas (primarily through CARE, the lead agency in that region). World Vision has already provided 500 body bags to the international Red Cross (which were left over from the emergency response to flooding in May). This response may also include providing WV commodities staff to CARE to help with food distributions, and could also include providing emergency supplies.
World Vision Haiti is also providing emergency kits containing kitchen supplies (cooking pot, plates, cups) and hygiene items (soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes) to 300 families in areas in the country's northwest.
In addition to their efforts in Haiti, World Vision is responding to the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean region, launching relief efforts in a number of countries.
To assist victims of Hurricane Jeanne, World Vision Dominican Republic has donated medicines and hospital supplies worth over four million Dominican pesos ($112,000 USD) to the Ministry of Public Health in El Seibo municipality.
The supplies, including oral re-hydration salts, bronchodilator, amoxicilina, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, threads, catheters pipettes, globes, insulin syringes, and surgery equipment, were donated by World Vision Canada.
This contribution was a part of the plan developed by World Vision to attend to the needs of people affected by the storm and flood disaster caused by Hurricane Jeanne in the Dominican Republic.
World Vision is also planning to distribute a further 500 boxes in the near future, consisting of rice, beans, spaghetti, salt and tomato paste to families which will benefit more than 3,500 people affected by Jeanne. In addition, it will deliver 600 mattresses, 250 foldout beds, 1,000 mosquito nets, 1,000 blankets, and household and hygiene kits.
The United States Embassy donated $50,000 (USD) to World Vision, which will be used to attend to the primary needs of these victims.
Meanwhile, in Jamaica, World Vision and its Caribbean partner, Food for the Poor, has delivered medical supplies, blankets, plastic sheeting, water purification tablets, and water containers as the country recovers from Hurricane Ivan.
The shipment was unloaded by Food for the Poor staff and distributed the following morning in the worst affected areas of Jamaica along the southwestern coast, specifically around the original capital city of Jamaica, Spanish Town.
According to the most recent reports, Hurricane Jeanne, which grew stronger, bigger and faster Saturday, has forced anxious Floridians shutter their homes and buy last-minute supplies as the storm bore down on the state's Atlantic coast with winds near 115 mph. Three million people were told to evacuate.