The Venezuelan government has begun to send shipments of over 646 tons of much needed humanitarian aid to Cuba and Haiti after the both countries were hit by hurricane Sandy last week. The aid includes mostly non-perishable food items and water, as well as machinery to help remove debris.
The hurricane first struck the Caribbean last week before heading north to the US. So far Haiti has been the worst hit by the disaster, counting a death toll of 54 people, followed by 50 plus deaths in the US and 11 in Cuba. Both the Haitian and Cuban harvests were also seriously damaged as a result of the tropical storm.
Following the disaster, Venezuela was one of the first countries to send solidarity and aid to both countries, with Minister of Domestic Affairs and Justice, Nestor Reverol, categorizing the assistance as a “gesture of our commitment to our Latin American and Caribbean brothers... to whom we are sending this humanitarian aid which will allow them to cover their needs in one way or another”.
Speaking last Saturday, the Haitian government said the aid would help them to address some of the problems brought about by the storm and thanked Venezuela for its quick response to the crisis.
“We have spoken to several foreign governments; Venezuela has already sent a boat containing 240 tons of food and water which will arrive within 3 days. In addition, Venezuela will send a plane on Monday with several tonnes of food and water to help the population”, said Haitian Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe.
Lamothe also confirmed that the hurricane had caused floods in “almost all of the country”, where 370,000 citizens still remain homeless following the 2010 earthquake. “We have numerous towns which are cut off from the rest of the country, which are flooded”, he said.Meanwhile, news sites like ft.com and UN Dispatch worry about Haiti's food security and its political consequences.