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Estonia is sending a rescue team to the Haiti disaster area

14. October 2016 - 19:28

On Sunday, 16 October, the Rescue Board will dispatch a rescue team consisting of two members to Haiti to assist in relief efforts and the coordination of aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Team leader Rauno Kurvits will be joined by physician Maris Filippov.

According to the Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur, the Estonian rescue team is trained and prepared to respond to international emergencies. “Haiti is clearly in need of international assistance, and if we, together with our partners, are able to offer help, this is what we will do,” said Pevkur.

“The devastation of the hurricane has affected over 750,000 people in Haiti and over 80 % of the infrastructure is damaged in places. Therefore, Haiti is requesting that international organisations provide shelter equipment and relief experts for assisting the residents of Haiti. The experts of the Rescue Board’s Estonian rescue team recently participated in similar humanitarian partnership missions in Oman and Sierra Leone, and in 2016, we delivered humanitarian aid to refugees in Serbia,” commented Kuno Tammearu, Director General of the Rescue Board.

The mission will last up to 21 days. It is organised in cooperation with the Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian rescue team, with additional financial support from Great Britain.

Tropical hurricane Matthew hit southern Haiti on 4 October. According to the OCHA, the storm has affected 1.5 million people in Haiti and approximately 350,000 people are in need of humanitarian aid.

The Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) received the Haitian government’s appeal for help on 5 October.

The Rescue Board has been provided with 48,000 euros for mission expenses from the budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.