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CJTF-HAITI DELIVERS ASSISTANCE TO THOSE IN NEED

Marine Corps News

Release Date: 4/29/2004

Story by Sgt. Ryan S. Scranton

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI(April 27, 2004) -- Personnel from Combined Joint Task Force - Haiti and Marine Air Ground Task Force-8 delivered more than $23,000 worth of medical supplies to a local hospital here April 28. The Centre de Sante de la Croix Des Missions Hospital was just one of many hospitals that received medical supplies, totaling approximately $850,000, from the U.S. Department of Defense and distributed by multinational interim forces here.

"It feels great to be able to help these people by giving them the things that they need to help themselves," said Staff Sgt. Victor O. Perales, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, from Fort Bragg, N.C., assigned to the Task Force here.

The boxes delivered to the hospital contained bandages, splints, dressings and sterile fluid as well as non-expendable items such as exam and surgical tables and surgical instruments.

"The supplies we delivered today will help these people in both the short term and long term," Perales said. The medical supplies are being put to good use according to Perales, who said the Civil Military Operations Center (CMOC), which helps coordinate the deliveries, gets the right equipment to people who need it most.

"There are many people involved in the process of getting these supplies where they need to go," he continued. By coordinating efforts between the Civil Affairs teams, the multinational interim forces, the Haitian interim government and non-governmental organizations, the CMOC is able to match those in need with those who have the supplies.

"We never deliver supplies to a hospital without doing an assessment first," Perales said. "An assessment is always done to ensure that the supplies the hospitals receive are in accordance with their capabilities and can be utilized in a way that is most beneficial to their patients."

The capability of the CMOC to work with both the NGOs and different departments of the Haitian government, such as the Ministry of Health, is a necessity according to Perales.

"We have a great relationship with the Haitian government and it only makes sense to coordinate with them in efforts like this," he said. "When it comes to trying to find out who needs medical supplies here, who else would know better than the Ministry of Health," he asked. Putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to figure out how to best help the people of Haiti, the CMOC and the other members of the Combined Joint Task Force here have been working diligently to bring some relief to those in need.

"The medical supplies we delivered today and have delivered in the past is just one of the many pieces involved in assisting the country of Haiti," Perales said.

With Multinational Interim Force personnel executing missions daily, they have helped provide food, water, books, medical treatment and hygiene supplies, as well as other types of assistance to the Haitian people.

"Everything that we are doing here is a group effort, we are all part of the CJTF and we all have the same mission," Perales said, "to help the people of Haiti and promote the safety and security of the people here."



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