US government to resume Haiti evacuations

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Photo of planes in earthquake relief efforts at Port-au-Prince airport.
Image: Justin Stumberg.

The United States government will resume evacuation flights for injured Haitians following doctors advising that many were likely to die if they did not receive immediate medical care. Airlifts stopped Wednesday due to logistical issues. Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, said on Sunday that airlifts should resume within the next twelve hours.

Vietor said Haitians with spinal injuries and burns were flown to the U.S., most for treatment in Florida. The state's governor, Charlie Crist, advised the Obama administration last week that Florida's healthcare system was be called on to deal with a considerable number of injured from Haiti; that victims had high-trauma injuries, only increasing the strain on the healthcare system available in Florida. Crist requested the Federal Government activate the National Disaster Medical System, which often provides the necessary funds for disaster victims.

The World Food Programme (WFP) also began delivering food to Haitian women on Sunday. A spokesperson stated that they had decided to only release food to the women in an effort to reduce violence caused by the starvation dilemma. Rice was distributed in sixteen locations across Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. The WFP gave 25kg (or 55 pounds) of rice to each woman, enough rice to feed an average family in Haiti for two weeks.