Almost one week since a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, the death toll has risen to over 2,000 and 12,000 are injured. It is reported that a staggering 500,000 people, 40 percent of the total population in the areas hit by the earthquake, need emergency humanitarian assistance. Nearly 61,000 homes have been destroyed and more than 76,000 damaged. Thousands of people have been left homeless, sleeping outside, and in desperate need of shelter.
We are working closely with our local partner Haiti Survie, who in turn are liaising with a local NGO network to establish how best to transport emergency relief to the most vulnerable Haitians. Due to political instability, gang activity and poor-quality roads, distributing relief items is incredibly challenging. Local markets are not functioning well, and supplies of shelter equipment in the country are low.
Thankfully, a humanitarian corridor has been established to enable the effective transportation of relief items from the capital to the affected areas, and our partner Haiti Survie have started responding on the ground. Our response is targeting communities in Torbeck and Damassin, two badly hit areas that are slightly off the beaten track, harder to access, and therefore not receiving humanitarian aid from other agencies.
To start, we are providing emergency food packages to 500 of the worst affected families. Meanwhile, Haiti Survie is conducting community assessments, focusing on speaking to women and women’s groups, which will determine what these communities’ most urgent needs are and what we should be providing moving forward. We anticipate that clean safe drinking water, and emergency shelter, will be urgent priorities in the coming weeks.
Thanks to the concern and generosity of the British Jewish community we have been able to act quickly to respond to this crisis, ensuring Haitians are not forgotten in their moment of desperate need. We will continue to deliver our emergency response, and in the longer-term will support the community to recover from this devastation and rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
Please support our response today at www.worldjewishrelief.org/haiti.
Photos (below) taken by our local partner depict damage to people's homes caused by the earthquake.