We are thankful for the many prayers and offers of support following the Jan. 13 earthquake in Port-au-Prince. Jackson Nelson, and our World Hunger Relief – Haiti counterparts in Ferrier are shook up, but far enough away from the epicenter that they have not been greatly affected. Pastor Zenas Pierre wrote today, “We are OK in Ferrier but worry a lot about our family and friends in Port-au-Prince. We are very sad also about the people there… Pray , pray , pray please!” Virtually everyone has family and friends in the capital whom they have not heard from.
Although it is difficult to respond from a distance, we are working to enable WHR-Haiti to respond to their compatriots by transporting medical supplies from northern Haiti to the affected area around Port-au-Prince. WHRI Executive Director, Neil Rowe Miller, will travel to Haiti in early February, but in the short run we feel it is most appropriate, and more cost effective, to focus on empowering our Haitian brothers and sisters to respond quickly to the needs in their own country. If you would like to help in this effort, earmark your support for Haiti Earthquake Response.
Rebuilding Port-au-Prince will take an enormous effort by many parties. Other organizations whose efforts we endorse include:
Mennonite Central Committee (www.mcc.org) with over 50 years in Haiti will be providing relief through multiple Haitian partners. 100% of your donation goes directly to efforts in Haiti.
Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org) with 27 years in Haiti will be providing temporary shelter for those left homeless.
International Committee of the Red Cross (www.ICRC.org) providing emergency assistance and reconnecting families who have been separated by the disaster.
This crisis is a huge setback for a country where, in recent years, progress seemed to be emerging from a history of political and ecological crisis. The present disaster will not just demand resources to rebuild the Capital, but also will draw resources that could otherwise have been used for long-term development in the countryside. We will continue to partner with World Hunger Relief – Haiti, as we have for 30 years, working toward long-term development, especially in agriculture, and we thank you for your continued participation with us in those efforts.
If events proceed like most major disasters, six months from now the charity will wane, but the need for reconstruction will remain. In Gonaives, 110 km north of the capital, residents continue to rebuild a year and a half after the last major hurricane in Haiti. Join us in praying for the deliverance of those trapped under collapsed buildings, but also that today’s outpouring of compassion will extend to the needs of those digging out from the hopelessness of long-term, systemic poverty in Haiti.