Kristin Mörth's field story from Haiti
In the middle of August, an earthquake once again hit the already exposed Haiti. Just days after the Haitian government reached out to EU member states contributed with a support team. From the MSB Ms. Kristin Mörth was Head of operation for the Technical assistant and support team, TAST.
The Haitian government reached out to EU for help and in just a couple of days, the member states contributed with a team of 22 people in an European Civil Protection team, EUCP-team, from six different countries.
The aim for the team was to make assessment on the actual need in Haiti and what aid the member states could provide to the country. When the aid arrives in Haiti the European civil protection team plays an important role to coordinate and deploy the incoming modules from Europe.
There are many challenges in a country hit by natural disasters; there are hardly any infrastructure and lack of electricity and fuel. The security situation in Haiti is also very special which also infects the work in the field.
The EUCP-team consists of 12 staff members from the EU member states. Within the team are two Swedish members sent from MSB. Supporting the EUCPT is a Technical Assistance Support Team (TAST) consisting of eight members, all from MSB.
– It has been an amazing experience to see people in the team, with different backgrounds, ages and knowledge, directly contributing within their areas of expertise! It has not always been easy tasks to solve here, but they have done it incredibly well, with great commitment and knowledge. It's easy to be the leader when you work with such a committed and competent team! says Kristin Mörth, Head of Operation for the TAST.
As in every mission, the challenges keep the team on their toes. She continues,
– The challenges in Haiti have been many and we have always had to solve different types of problems along the way. This has meant, among other things, that we let some of the staff out into the field through boat transport instead of via the convoys that have often been cancelled. We have had to put lot of focus on personal security here as kidnappings and attacks have taken place against the aid transports on their way out into the country.
There has been a lot of frustration in knowing that help exists, but facing difficulties in getting them in place in the field. In addition to the usual challenges of aftershocks, poverty and kidnapping, we have also had to deal with the Covid situation that prevails here, less than 1% of Haitians are fully vaccinated at the moment.