Following the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on Saturday, Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal to help people that have been affected.
The nation – which is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake that killed 300,000 people and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and more recently dealing with Covid and the aftermath of the assassination of its president – has now been struck another blow.
Figures of those killed or impacted are still uncertain and are rising daily as assessments and the search for survivors continue. Houses have been destroyed, roads are cut off due to landslides, power lines and communications have been damaged. People have lost their homes, belongings, and means to make a living.
The Departments South, Grand’Anse, South West, and Les Nippes are the worst affected. Christian Aid and its local partner organisations are currently working in Camp-Perrin, Maniche, Les Cayes, Saint-Jean, Torbeck, and Chantal. Women and girls, the elderly, and people with disabilities are most affected by the crisis and are at the highest risk of being denied access to services and support in the aftermath.
Initially, people will need emergency shelter, food, drinking water, access to healthcare, and protection assistance but in the long-term, they will need housing, livelihood, and psychological support.
Marc Pascal Desmornes, Regional Programme Manager for Christian Aid in Haiti said: “The destruction and loss caused by the earthquake can affect multiple aspects of peoples’ lives and well-being, both physically and socially. We see families moving to wherever they can to stay safe with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
“Swaths of Haitians are facing growing hunger and healthcare services are already overwhelmed by Covid-19. Access by road to the South region, where the quake struck, has been restricted by gang control of areas, raising questions over how aid will be delivered. Gang groups will be one of the main issues and risks for gaining humanitarian access in the days, weeks, and months to follow.
“Right now, we don’t have figures on how many homes have been destroyed or how many people have been displaced but what we do know is that the people of Haiti are resilient. But how much more can we take?”
“Following the 2010 earthquake, contingency plans were put in place for similar natural hazards. However, given the current political and security situation it’s not always possible to implement them.”
“Our partners report that people are already questioning whether they will spend years in tents, as they did after the earthquake that hit the country eleven years ago.”
In the wake of the devastating earthquake in 2010, Christian Aid worked in collaboration with ACT Alliance members to rebuild the homes of 4,900 people. Following Hurricane Matthew in 2016, our partner KORAL (Kounbite pou Ranfose Aksyon Lakay) repaired and rebuilt the homes of families most severely affected. Christian Aid is working with KORAL and Service Jesuit aux Migrants (SJM) for this response.
To give to the Haiti Earthquake appeal, please visit www.christianaid.org.uk/appeals/emergencies/haiti-earthquake-appeal