SOURCE: International Relief & Development

January 17, 2010 20:33 ET

International Relief & Development, Leading Disaster Response Organization, Provides Aid to Haiti in a Challenging Environment

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - January 17, 2010) - The Emergency Relief Team from International Relief & Development (IRD), a specialist in disaster response and emergency relief operations, arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, today. Collapsed infrastructure and lack of security in Haiti following the January 12 earthquake have caused extreme congestion at airports, seaports, and border crossings, delaying aid workers around the world as they try to reach those in need. The drive to Port-au-Prince from the Dominican Republic border, normally a two-hour trip, took nine hours today.

"Everything is a challenge," said Adam Koons, IRD Emergency Relief Team Lead. "There is no public electricity and no fuel for generators. Connecting or coordinating with anyone on the ground is extremely difficult."

The IRD team drove through the city when it arrived and found many streets closed by collapsed buildings and thousands of people living under tarps where their houses once stood. Koons emphasized the difficulty of moving around in the city and mentioned a lack of vehicles for aid workers to use in order to reach all those that have been affected by this disaster.

IRD's emergency relief team was able to bring two truckloads of water from Dominican Republic to Port-au-Prince today, and they will be meeting more than $5 million worth of commodities donated to IRD that have either already been flown or shipped in to Port-au-Prince or are on their way.

IRD will be distributing medical supplies, medicines, rehydration salts, solar-powered lights, water purifiers, hygiene kits, and other basic humanitarian aid. IRD will also focus its attention on larger sanitation system and water infrastructure repairs.

An estimated 3.5 million individuals have been affected by this disaster, and the number of deaths is expected to be at least 100,000. The IRD Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund has raised nearly $200,000 over the last 4 days to help the people of Haiti. Cash contributions continue to be critical to the relief efforts, and those who wish to donate can visit, call 1-866-595-1100, or text REBUILD to 85944.

More information on how you can help, including instructions on assembling hygiene kits, can be found at You can also stay up-to-date on the latest Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts at, by following us on Twitter @ird_relief, or joining us on Facebook at "International Relief and Development".

IRD is a non-profit humanitarian and development organization dedicated to improving the lives and livelihoods of the world's most vulnerable people. With the help of local groups and donors, IRD builds sustainable, community-based programs for health, agriculture, economic growth, infrastructure, and governance. IRD works in nearly 40 countries and specializes in conflict and post-conflict environments.

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