Israeli Aid to Haiti
By Alan Manheim
On January 15th, just three days after an earthquake struck the country of Haiti, Israel had set up a field hospital in a soccer field near the Port au Prince airport. The field hospital includes 40 doctors, 25 nurses, paramedics, a pharmacy, a children's ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an emergency room, two operating rooms, a surgical department, an internal department and a maternity ward. The hospital can treat approximately 500 patients each day, and in addition will perform preliminary surgeries.
The delegation was scheduled to stay in Haiti for over two weeks, but the overwhelming need for advanced medical care has prompted Israel to extend its stay for as long as they are needed. The 220-person delegation is led by Brig. Gen. Shalom Ben-Aryeh (Res.), the commander of the Home Front Command’s National Search and Rescue Unit.
On Sunday night (17 January) a resident of Port-au-Prince gave birth to a son at the Israeli field hospital. It was reported that his mother decided to name him “Israel” in honor of the country that helped her.
Joel Lion, Consul for Media and Public Affairs and Spokesperson, Consulate General of the State of Israel in New York, stated that,
"The State of Israel stands side by side with the people of Haiti at their time of need. As a nation and a people who are familiar with the pain of war and persecution, the Israeli government has made it her top priority to assist those less fortunate. The IDF hospital in Haiti will work in the next few weeks to treat those in need of immediate attention, but this is only the first step.
In the coming weeks, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send a delegation of infrastructure, agriculture and telecommunications experts to Haiti, in order to ensure that the people of Haiti will get back on their feet as swiftly as possible".