Episcopal Relief & Development has received two grants totaling $500,000 USD from Trinity Church Wall Street to support disaster response and recovery efforts in Haiti. These grants enable the organization to reach over 40,000 vulnerable people whose homes were destroyed or who lost income as a result of the August 2021 earthquake.
A major 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the southwest of Haiti on Saturday, August 14. The earthquake was followed immediately by Tropical Storm Grace, which triggered mudslides and compounded the damage. Many of the impacted communities had not yet fully recovered from the effects of the Category 4 Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and were simultaneously experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, political and economic instability, gang activity and increasing difficulties in obtaining safe, nutritious food continue to present acute challenges to recovery.
“The situation in Haiti remains highly fluid and our partners are adapting their efforts in order to ensure the safety of all involved,” said Ernest Cajuste, Senior Program Officer, Episcopal Relief & Development. “We are grateful to Trinity Church Wall Street for their generous support of the relief and recovery programs that will help create lasting change in Haiti.”
An initial $100,000 grant from Trinity Church Wall Street in September 2021 supported a rapid response project designed to provide immediate relief in the aftermath of the quake. Working through a network of Haiti-based organizations, Episcopal Relief & Development provided emergency assistance to over 25,000 people in the Grand’Anse, Nippes and Sud departments. This aid included cash transfers, psychological and pastoral care and tents to provide shelter for people whose homes were damaged or destroyed. The project also supported the establishment of mobile health clinics which assisted over 9,000 patients.
Trinity Church Wall Street has granted Episcopal Relief & Development an additional $400,000 for continued recovery work in Haiti. This second phase of the project will reach over 14,000 people, meeting the basic needs of 600 vulnerable families and strengthening the long-term resilience of an additional 3,000 families in 20 communities. The project will build on the cash grants of the first phase of the project by establishing Savings with Education groups. These groups equip people with financial literacy, small business skills and disaster risk reduction strategies to enable them to prepare for and recover from future emergencies without the need for outside assistance.
“Amid the continued devastation and need among our brothers and sisters in Haiti, Episcopal Relief & Development is doing important, on-the-ground work,” said The Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, Rector of Trinity Church Wall Street. “It is our Christian responsibility to help the suffering, and we are pleased to partner once again to support Episcopal Relief & Development’s efforts to serve the Haitian people as they recover and rebuild.”
With the ongoing support of Trinity Church Wall Street and donations from individuals and churches, Episcopal Relief & Development’s earthquake recovery work in Haiti is conducted in collaboration with Food for the Poor and Church World Service. The organization is also partnering with several local and community-rooted organizations and actors including local clergy, trauma and resilience counselors and youth mobilizers. Learn more about Episcopal Relief & Development’s work in Haiti and around the world.