HIV/AIDS relief workers are lauding
Delta airlines for their assistance delivering aid to Haiti.
On Friday, New York-based AIDS
Works was forced to abandon eight carry on bags filled with
relief supplies for the victims of Haiti's devastating earthquake at
JFK airport due to newly adopted baggage limitations. Delta's new
policy reduced the number of allowed bags for relief workers from six
to one. Fees ranged from $60 to $350 per additional bag depending on
the number of bags.
Supplies left behind included hydrating
liquids, syringes, pain medication, intravenous medication and
gloves, the group said.
In a statement released Friday, the
group called the new policy “cruel, inhumane and shortsighted.”
“Delta's baggage fee policy is a slap
in the face to the millions of Haitians who have just been through
one of the worst catastrophes in the history of mankind,” Charles
King, president and CEO of Housing Works, said.
“I call on the humanity of the Delta
corporation to support the flow of aid to Haiti by changing its fee
policy on relief aids.”
Delta immediately agreed to deliver the
supplies left behind in New York.
“Delta is committed to supporting the
relief effort and we will consistently do all that we can to support
agencies trying to get relief to Haiti,” Delta Director of External
Affairs Scarlet Pressley Brown told the group.
Housing Works lauded the airline's
“I applaud Delta for recognizing the
urgent importance of rebuilding Haiti and helping us deliver critical
help to Haitian families and people living with HIV,” King said.
The group says it is involved in Haiti
relief efforts because previous disaster relief programs had done
little to address the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. Haiti,
King said, has the worst HIV/AIDS rate in the Western hemisphere.