Humanity & Inclusion provides the only maritime transport for humanitarian aid in the southwest of Haiti.
In response to the earthquake, Humanity & Inclusion plans to organize shipment pooling for NGOs and send approximately 760 tons of food, as well as medical supplies and essential non-food items by the end of August.
Road access remains blocked
Following the Aug. 14 earthquake that ravaged the southwestern region of Haiti, some of the most affected areas have been inaccessible by road due to damage and landslides, slowing humanitarian response. With nearly 7,000 people injured and basic needs in urgent demand, it is essential that relief supplies reach communities as quickly as possible.
With tropical depression Grace having freshly hit the already devastated region, roads are expected to be even further damaged.
An alternative route
Since June 2020, Humanity & Inclusion has implemented MERLUH—a maritime logistics project—which enables humanitarian organizations in Haiti to transport relief materials by sea during times of crisis. Its objective is to provide an alternative method of aid transport to access isolated communities when roads are blocked. Operated by Atlas Logistics in partnership with AQUADEV, the fleet of 10 sailboats consolidates and transports up to 160 tons of material to ports around the south of Haiti.
“After Saturday’s earthquake, there have been major problems with road accessibility,” says Marvin Vidon, Humanity & Inclusion’s head of transport logistics. “For example, departmental road #7, which links the impacted regions of South and Grand’Anse, is completely blocked. Project MERLUH remains the only way for many NGOs to deliver aid by sea. The ports that were most affected by the earthquake are ones we already serve, so we know the routes, regulations and security measures. This saves time, reduces risk and lends our expertise in maritime transport.”
Deliveries from Port-au-Prince to Jeremie take around 48 hours to complete, depending on the wind. They are subject to a series of challenges including weather, security and maritime traffic rules.