Statement by Deputy Minister Sue van der Merwe, Department of International Relations and Cooperation on South Africa’s Rescue Package to the Republic of Haiti

The South African Government will coordinate the country’s aid package through the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC). The South African Government has decided that the country’s aid assistance in Haiti will be approached in three phases; namely:

The immediate search and rescue phase in which search teams will be deployed to the Republic of Haiti. This search and rescue phase will include the deployment of medical professionals. In this regard, the South African Government, through DIRCO and the Department of Health, have partnered with Vodacom, Netcare and Discovery in supporting the rescue team led by Rescue South Africa, a not-for-profit company which has worked with both DIRCO and the NDMC.

The second phase will entail activities such as the identification of bodies; in this instance the country will send forensic pathologists to participate in the identification of bodies amongst other elements.

The third and last phase will consist of humanitarian aid, in which the South African Government will work with Non-Governmental Organisations such as The Gift of the Givers in order to provide humanitarian assistance where possible.

The South African Government is appealing to the South African public which is willing and able to provide assistance in the form of aid or any other assistance to the Republic of Haiti to contact Mr. George Kilian, Head of the National Disaster Management Centre on (012) 334 0667 during office hours or alternatively to e-mail him at

The media and the public is also welcomed to show support in the Spirit of Ubuntu by attending the departure of the Rescue South Africa team at the Waterkloof Air Base at 22h00pm today, Thursday 14 January 2010.

For more information, contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr. Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152

14 January 2010

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