B-Fast closely follows the situation in Haiti and evaluates aid options

B-FAST, like other international rescue teams, closely follows the situation in Haiti, hit by Hurricane Matthew. This is done through an electronic platform of the United Nations. Based on the information from this platform, B-FAST evaluates the possibility of providing assistance. It is important that this emergency aid has an added value to the aid already deployed on the ground.

The countries that are in the passage of hurricane Matthew, including Haiti, have prepared in cooperation with the United Nations. These countries have, therefore, requested assistance to the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC). The Government of Haiti, with the support of UNDAC, actively coordinates the assistance in the country, together with other aid organisations that are already there.

When a specific need is identified to which B-FAST can remedy with its capacities or humanitarian aid, the B-FAST planning committee is convened. This committee formulates proposals on how B-Fast can answer to these specific needs (eg. use of an ‘Urban Search and Rescue Team’, a field hospital or high-volume emergency pumps in case of flood) within the budgetary possibilities. Afterwards, the proposals are submitted to the Coordination Council for decision. In the Coordination Council and B-FAST, the following departments collaborate:  Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, Defence, Health, Development Cooperation and Budget. Every decision is taken by consensus.

Since 4 October, the various departments examine the various aid possibilities with other EU Member States. A joint transport of emergency aid to the affected areas in Haiti is one of the possibilities. As always, our country is ready to offer such aid.