Posted by Lora Chance - email
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The International Red Cross has deployed 19 Emergency Response Units to Haiti. Each unit consists of highly trained volunteers as well as experts in the management and distribution of humanitarian aid on a large scale.
WTOC spoke to Laurence Kropp, a Red Cross Emergency Response Unit volunteer from Luxembourg, by phone Monday.
"If you drive through the capitol, Port-Au-Prince, you have camps everywhere. It's really a disaster area," Kropp told WTOC.
Kropp arrived in Haiti ten days ago. This is Kropp's third mission with the Emergency Response unit from the Benelux countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
"The conditions we work in are quite difficult, of course, because it's a lack of infrastructure, but we get the help of other national Red Cross groups and the Haitian Red Cross," said Kropp. "Everybody tries to do their best. Up to now, we are working quite fine."
Kropp said the Benelux ERU has joined forces with the American ERU to supplement the work of 2,000 Haitian Red Cross volunteers.
"We're working with the Haitian Red Cross; they know exactly what the needs are: a lot of rice, can food, food that can be transported," Kropp explained. "One has to take into account the preferences of the people but also the things that are logistically feasible."
Since Kropp's arrival, the joint Benelux/American ERU has distributed food and other supplies to more than 5,000 families.
More donations are needed. Visit newsroom.redcross.org/2010/01/12/disaster-alert-earthquake-in-haiti to make a donation.
By day, Laurence Kropp is a consultant on a variety of development projects in Africa. By night, she moonlights as a Red Cross volunteer in her native country of Luxembourg. As a teenager, Kropp came to the United States as an exchange student, graduating in 1987 from Madison High School.