Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti and other partners in response to the devastating earthquake that struck on Saturday, August 14, 2021. The organization’s first grant is through the diocese and will support 400 vulnerable households in 21 isolated communities.
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti’s southern peninsula and, as of Wednesday, August 18, it had caused nearly 2,000 deaths and injured more than 9,000 people, according to the United Nations. The UN also said the quake impacted more than 1.2 million people. The quake destroyed buildings and infrastructure, including nearly 61,000 homes, and damaged more than 76,000 more.
Thousands of families are in need of humanitarian assistance. The Haitian Civil Protection General Directorate says 137,000 families have been affected in the Sud, Grand’Anse and Nippes departments. About 500,000 people – 40 percent of the total population in the affected departments – are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. Rescue efforts have been hampered by heavy rains and winds from Tropical Storm Grace and the full extent of the damage has yet to be determined.
The Diocese of Haiti, in collaboration with its congregations on the southern peninsula, quickly assessed the most urgent needs of vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, mothers with young children, the elderly and people whose homes were damaged or destroyed. The diocese selected 400 families in hard-to-reach areas that have been affected by the earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace. With Episcopal Relief & Development’s support, these families will receive direct assistance so that they can meet basic needs such as food, medicine and housing.
“For marginalized groups, the combined impact of COVID-19, the earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace has the potential to be devastating,” said Ernest Cajuste, Senior Program Officer, Episcopal Relief & Development. “Episcopal Relief & Development is working with partners such as the Diocese of Haiti to support these individuals and families as they maintain their livelihoods, assets and dignity.”
Episcopal Relief & Development remains in close contact with the diocese and other partner organizations on the ground in Haiti as leaders assess needs in their communities. Please continue to pray for those who have been affected by the earthquake, tropical storm and COVID-19. Donations to the Haiti Fund will help the organization to continue to respond to this disaster.
For over 80 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.