Most of us would be pretty happy to receive a surprise gift which had been shipped halfway around the world especially so that we could help thousands of desperate people with it. But the reality in a massive emergency such as the response to the Haiti earthquake is that it pays to be prepared for these kinds of surprises.
Which is where UNHAS and the Logistics Cluster, led by the World Food Programme, came in – in style. A sizeable donation of medical supplies and food from the Taiwan government had been flown on a presidential aircraft into Santo Domingo in neighbouring Dominican Republic. The big question was – how to get it into Haiti and out to people in need as quickly as possible.
The problem was mentioned by the Dominican Republic Secretary of State to German Puente and Jose Odini from the UNHAS team in Santo Domingo during a meeting. The two immediately offered their services to assist the Dominican Civilian Defence who were handling the issue.
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