Thousands More ShelterBoxes to be Sent to Haiti

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Three months after devastating earthquake, ShelterBox continues work.

A Haitian family in front of their ShelterBox tent in Port-au-Prince Haiti.

I’m proud of the efforts of all of the dedicated people in Haiti...especially my ShelterBox colleagues who have provided enough shelter and warmth for over 130,000 of those displaced. That’s about 13% of the total displaced by the quake

Three months on from one of the worst disasters ever witnessed, over 100,000 Haitian earthquake survivors are rebuilding their lives in ShelterBox tents.

The international disaster relief charity has now delivered over 13,000 ShelterBoxes to families who lost everything in the 7.3-magnitude quake. Each box contains a disaster relief tent to house a family of up to 10, water purification, a cook stove, blankets, a tool set among other items.

As the world marks the three-month anniversary of the disaster that struck on January 12, ShelterBox is sending another 5,000 boxes of aid this month – enough for an additional 50,000 people – with thousands more ShelterBoxes due to arrive in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, during the coming months.

ShelterBox began its response to the Haiti earthquake just 12 minutes after the quake struck on January 12, by mobilizing a ShelterBox Response Team to Port au Prince. The next day, the first ShelterBoxes left the charity’s HQ in the UK bound for Haiti.

The first boxes arrived five days after the earthquake and were used to set up emergency field hospitals, immediately saving lives by providing vital shelter to patients who had nowhere to go. Hundreds more boxes followed and ShelterBox camps were set up in suburbs of Port au Prince including Delmas, where families with newborn babies and pregnant women were prioritized for emergency shelter.

A total of 13,000 ShelterBoxes have now been distributed in Haiti with thousands more to come, making it ShelterBox’s largest deployment since the Indian Ocean Tsunami. All aid has been delivered by volunteer ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members from across the globe who have carried out extensive training with ShelterBox. More than 30 SRT members, including 12 US SRT, have now been deployed in Haiti as well as Santo Domingo and Miami coordinating logistics for Haitian aid.

Having just returned from Haiti, Philadelphia Businessman and Response Team Member Bill Decker, is proud of the ongoing efforts and successes of ShelterBox to provide shelter for Haiti.

“I’m proud of the efforts of all of the dedicated people in Haiti,” said Decker, “especially my ShelterBox colleagues who have provided enough shelter and warmth for over 130,000 of those displaced. That’s about 13% of the total displaced by the quake.”

Partnerships forged with organizations on the ground in Haiti such as French aid agency ACTED, the French Red Cross, the IOM, local Rotarians, the Dutch military and the US military allowed SRT members to distribute boxes effectively and securely, ensuring aid has been delivered to people most in need.

“While there are still mountains of rubble and ongoing medical crises,” said Decker, “we’re seeing aggressive efforts by NGOs and the Haitian people to clear away debris and actually begin to rebuild. Our ShelterBox tents will continue to be a key part of that rebuilding effort.”

Across the globe, people have been supporting ShelterBox on unprecedented levels and volunteers at ShelterBox HQ have been packing more boxes, in the shortest space of time, than they ever have before.

The President and Royal Patron of ShelterBox, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall Camila, visited the charity’s HQ in Cornwall, England last month to thank staff and volunteers for their relief efforts in Haiti.

ShelterBox Founder and CEO Tom Henderson said, “With tens of thousands of families still living without adequate shelter in heavy rains and the hurricane season soon approaching, the need for emergency shelter is still great and we won’t rest until this need is met.”

About ShelterBox

Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox (http://www.shelterboxusa.org) has provided shelter and dignity following over 100 disasters in more than 70 countries, bringing the organization to the forefront of international disaster relief. ShelterBox instantly responds to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid. In many cases ShelterBoxes have made the difference between life and death.

Each ShelterBox supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and lifesaving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. The contents are tailored depending on the nature and location of the disaster, with great care taken sourcing every item to ensure it is robust enough to be of lasting value. Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organizations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.

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Alan Monroe
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