TORONTO – Canada will send an additional 1,000 troops to support relief efforts in Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake and will host a meeting of diplomats aimed at coordinating reconstruction efforts.
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Sunday the 16 countries that comprise the Group of Friends of Haiti have agreed to meet in Montreal on Jan. 25.
Haiti Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and foreign ministers from France and Brazil are among those expected to attend what will be a precursor to a larger conference of leaders that is to be held at an unconfirmed date.
The soldiers will complement an additional 500 soldiers on board two Canadian Navy vessels that are expected to reach Haiti’s shores today, as well as 200 members of Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team.
Medical teams could stay for years
SEATTLE – An emergency medical organization that is sending teams from the Northwest to Haiti says it could remain there for up to five years.
Medical Teams International’s Washington state director, Linda Ranz, said the organization’s first team from the Northwest arrived in Port-au-Prince on Saturday morning, and another team was leaving Sunday.
Ranz said the organization expects to maintain a presence in Haiti for up to five years. The group doesn’t want to just heal the wounded and leave, but make sure Haitians have access to adequate medical care for the long term.
The teams include doctors, nurses and other medical and planning staff from Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
McChord C-17s being dispatched
McCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. – Two C-17 cargo planes from McChord Air Force Base are on their way to assist in Haiti relief efforts.
The planes left Sunday morning, one for Langley Air Force Base in Virginia and the other to Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina. They’ll pick up specialized teams and relief supplies to take to Haiti. Two other C-17s and four aircrews remain on alert at McChord for additional humanitarian relief missions.
Washougal man remains missing
VANCOUVER, Wash. – A Washougal man remains missing after last week’s devastating earthquake.
Walt Ratterman was in the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince at the time. His daughter, Briana, told the Columbian newspaper of Vancouver that his family now has a better idea of where he might have been in the hotel.
A team from the humanitarian relief organization Knightsbridge International, which Ratterman had worked with, was trying to enter Haiti from the Dominican Republic on Sunday to search for him.
Ratterman was visiting Haiti to check on a solar-power project. He is co-founder of Sun Energy Power International, a Washougal-based nonprofit agency that provides help with renewable energy systems in remote rural parts of the world.