Emergency airlift headed for Haiti; U.S. to assist missions

by Joni B. Hannigan, Editorial Staff |

PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI (Christian Examiner) — With hundreds of thousands displaced in Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Samaritan's Purse is airlifting 20 tons of heavy-duty plastic sheeting, hygiene kits, and water filters to assist survivors, according to a news release.

A Disaster Assistance Response Team is also onboard to join field staff already on the ground where they witnessed the major damaged caused by torrential rains and 145-mph winds in one of the world's poorest countries.


"Hurricane Matthew has wreaked havoc on Haiti," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. "Our teams are on the ground helping in Jesus' Name. They're going to do all they can to meet the needs of the suffering. Please pray for the people of Haiti as they recover from this deadly storm."


Meanwhile, the president of Haiti has called off presidential and legislative elections there, scheduled for Sunday, according to the Miami Herald.

While the move was generally met with widespread acceptance because of humanitarian concerns, the lack of a new date has left some uncomfortable.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida issued a statement in which he called the postponement "justifiable" but said the Haitian people need leaders.

"It cannot be used as an excuse to perpetually postpone it and further undermine the democratic process there," Rubio said. "We need effective U.S. leadership on the humanitarian response for all the obvious human reasons, but also so this election can be rescheduled as soon as possible and the Haitian people can choose leaders that can address the many challenges facing their country."

The U.S. Southern Command staged an area at Port-au-Prince airport for C-130 cargo planes, and a team of 100 U.S. military personnel and nine helicopters were waiting in the Caymen Islands for the weather to improve before leaving for Haiti where they will assist disaster relief missions that have been requested by the government in Haiti.

According to the Miami Herald, the Haitian government has reported at least 350,000 people "immediate assistance."

To donate to the Samaritan's Purse effort, go online.