Paratroopers Assisting Haitians
Paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne providing humanitarian assistance in Haiti.
First Haitian volunteers unload bulk packages of raw supplies from trucks and stack them in central housing area. Then both US Soldiers and Haitians work to separate the bags into bundles that can sustain an entire families for up to two weeks.
What you see going on here today is a bulk issue of class one, intended to last for about two weeks time for a family of five. Each of these bags is filled with rice, beans, flour and oil, and it weights about 80 pounds.
80lbs. of vital aid that can mean a difference in a family survival. The issuant of bulk ration instead of one meal at a time not only insures a family can eat but it also assists by allowing Haitians to focus their efforts on other tasks needed to start the rebuilding process.
When we start to get into the bulk rations now, when we're giving the two-week rations, this actually allows the families to get beyond the day-to-day. You know when they get enough food for a couple of weeks they can get to go beyond worrying about where's their next meal. And they can start to get after some other things like sanitation and shelter and even being as you can see, this actually includes local Haitians that are being part of the work here. So we're noticing that more and more that the Haitian people are getting back to work, getting more commerce in the city and we're trying to bring a sense of normalcy to this emergency situation.
Today 2,000 families take home food that can sustain them during the next couple of weeks and this is only one day of this operation. The three previous days these 82nd troops handed out 1300 bundles of aid. The total number of families fed is around 5900, that's over 40070 (four hundred and seventy thousand) relief supplies to this one camp that holds around 50,000 people.
With the 82nd Airborne Corp in Port au Prince, Haiti, I'm Army Sergeant Stephen Roach.
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