Image: Red Cross plane in Finland.
Veli-matti Parkkinen  /  AP
A mobile clinic of the Red Cross is being loaded onto a cargo plane in Tampere airport, in Finland, on Friday. Mobile clinics were landing in the Dominican Republic and tucking aid into Haiti on Saturday.
updated 1/16/2010 10:25:56 AM ET 2010-01-16T15:25:56

Up to 10 trucks carrying a "huge amount" of aid headed Saturday from the Dominican Republic to quake-struck Haiti, bringing a 50-bed field hospital, surgical teams and an emergency telecommunications unit, the Red Cross said.

The convoy, including contingents from the Norwegian, Finnish, Spanish, Danish and Japanese Red Cross, hopes to arrive in Port-au-Prince in the afternoon, barring any problems, spokesman Paul Conneally said.

The shipments were put on trucks for the overland trip because "it's not possible to fly anything into Port-au-Prince right now," he told The Associated Press by phone from the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo. "The airport is completely congested."

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which represent national Red Cross chapters worldwide, will shortly increase its aid appeal for Haiti.

Video: 'This is a city on edge' The telephone system in Haiti, damaged in the magnitude-7 quake on Tuesday, has been unable to handle the heavy demand from aid workers and families seeking news of their relatives.

'Most incredible things'
Two larger field hospitals are also on the way. "They're just the most incredible things you've ever seen," said Matthew Cochrane, a spokesman in Geneva.

The World Health Organization said eight hospitals in Port-au-Prince were destroyed or damaged, severely medical treatment in the quake-hit city of 2 million people.

Conneally said some 60 specialists are included, and that the biggest team in the convoy is from the Norwegian Red Cross, which is sending a field hospital along with surgeons and nurses.

The Finns are sending a smaller medical clinic and medical team, and the Spanish are sending water treatment specialists and a telecoms team. The Japanese are sending a basic healthcare team and the Danish will set up a base camp for relief workers.

Cochrane said the Red Cross on Saturday revised its appeal for donations upward to $103 million in anticipation of having to provide relief to 300,000 people over the next three years.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Red Cross ‘overcoming’ challenges

  1. Closed captioning of: Red Cross ‘overcoming’ challenges

    >> example port-au-prince. beyond the presence, relief organizations are playing a key in haiti. most familiar is the american red cross . steve andrew is part of that team in port-au-prince. you heard bob talking about the ability of these planes even to get on the ground in haiti. you had two planes due to land on friday. were they able to get there?

    >> reporter: yes, good morning. our planes are in the air as they speak. they have not landed, but we are confident they will be arriving today and we will be unloading and getting stuff out to folks who need them.

    >> is the biggest problem getting cloo clearance to land and getting the goods unload and geting it on the road into the neighborhoods that need it?

    >> the big problem is we have not enough capacity at the airport or even within the country on the roads to bring the supplies in. we are slowly working through that. there is a lot of goods and stuff on the way. we have stuff that has been distributed with the haitian and american red cross . things are getting into place and we are mounding a massive relief operation which we have done many times for many years. we have challenges and we are overcoming them.

    >> we are beginning to hear reports that these people have been without food and water for several days. there is going to be looting and violence. how does the red cross deal with that?

    >> we have a great advantage in the red cross in that we have the haitian red cross who have been here before the disaster. they are the people. we work with the haitian red cross and the volunteers are from the communities. they are actually in the displaced person camps. we are working directly with the people. when we approach with aid, we have an agreement and we already have a familiarity with the folks we are working with. as long as we bring it in and treat people with honor, they sense that and treat us with honor. our districts are working well. we are not really having any big problems in our distribution yet. some of the large districts or large warehouses have been the scene of desperation by angry crowds. in our operation, so far, so good. we realize the desperation and the clock is ticks. we have it under control. the american red cross relief team is specialized in districts in large numbers and how to integrate with the people you are distributing with. we are having them organize the operation for us and together with us. it's beneficial for both of us that people are giving the aid and the people receiving that it goes well. so far so good, but we are just starting.

    >> we appreciate that and the whole world is watching. thank you for your work. steve andrew with the red cross .

    >> more now on president obama 's


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