Mexico's earthquake aid in eyes of a Haitian diplomat

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A Haitian diplomat in Mexico is busy for almost 10 days now but is more than content with what he has been busy at -- coordinating the donation and transportation of aid materials from Mexico to his country.

By Thursday, between 250 and 300 tons of drinking water, medicines, tinned food, rice, beans, mattresses, toilet rolls and diapers had been collected at the Haitian embassy in Mexico City and sent to the Mexican port of Veracruz for shipment to Haiti which was hit by a 7.3-magnitude temblor on Tuesday last week.

"There has been a very humane response here," Haitian minister-counselor Moisse Dorce told Xinhua.

"People here immediately realized how hard it is (to the Haitians) and they are doing their bits to make things better."

He said Mexico's largest telephone company Telmex, for example, had raised 10 million pesos (770,000 U.S. dollars) for Haiti on the first day of its donation campaign.

But the Haitian diplomat still felt uneasy as he kept receiving warnings that food supplies in the Haitian capital is running low and that people remain on streets for fear of more strong aftershocks.

Dorce has started to worry about the bottleneck along the transportation and distribution line of international aid to Haiti.

"We see the quantity of aid that arrives here, but the people in Haiti do not know about it," he said.

"They just see that they have nothing and they are desperate."

The Haitian embassy, for one, needs a shipping firm to pack donated materials into special containers which can be handled by port machinery to speed up the loading and unloading at the port.

For the time being, boxes of aid materials are transferred from trucks to ships through a hand-to-hand human chain at the port.

A commotion burst out in the embassy when a local Mexican company contributed duck tapes for embassy staffers to bind bottles of drinking water for easier handling during transportation.

The World Food Program has estimated that 200,000 of the quake-affected Haitians are now being fed by the UN institution but other UN bodies have estimated that as many as 3 million people in Port-au-Prince and surrounding towns are in urgent need of assistance and are homeless.

Food aside, according to the diplomat, tents and anti-malarial drugs are also in bad need, due to the fact that Haiti is prone to heavy tropical rains and malarial outbursts during the rainy season.

"If distribution improves, the tension and worry in Haiti will decrease," the diplomat said. "We are more optimistic here than the people there because we have the idea of the aid Mexico is organizing and delivering."

Mexico not only sent out two professional rescue teams to Haiti, local Mexican governments have also been busy organizing and coordinating aid assistance to the Caribbean country.

Dorce said he is proud to happen to be in Mexico City during a time like this.

"Earthquakes have rendered Mexico City residents sensitive to the seismic disasters," he added, "Their sensitivity makes them understand better what other quake-affected people are experiencing."

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