With 80% of its population living in poverty, Haiti is one of the most economically challenged countries in the world. The devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, greatly worsened existing issues. Together with our partners in Haiti, we provided emergency relief in the aftermath of the quake and we continue to implement long-term development strategies to sustain Haiti’s recovery long into the future.
Prior to and in the years after the 2010 earthquake, Episcopal Relief & Development worked with the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti’s development arm, CEDDISEC (Centre Diocésain de Developpement Intégré et de Secours) on its community-based development and emergency response efforts. Currently, we are working with several Episcopal Church-related organizations and in partnership with IMA World Health to support programs that empower local congregations and advance Haiti’s economic, education and health infrastructure.
After the 2010 earthquake, Episcopal Relief & Development initiated micro-credit programs to alleviate poverty, improve livelihoods and recover lost business and capital. In 2013, the Program of Credit and Savings of the Episcopal Church of Haiti (PROCREEH) was created as part of a new initiative to reinforce the autonomy of Haitian communities as leaders of their own socioeconomic development.
Episcopal Relief & Development is also working with its partners to increase access to quality education and invest in a better future for Haiti. We partner with Haitian Youth Livelihood Initiative-IDEJEN to train young people in construction and hospitality and help them find jobs, seek additional training or return to formal education. We also support the Bishop Tharp Business and Technology Institute (BTI), a two-year school in Les Cayes whose graduates are able to find employment in fields such as banking, government administration and non-governmental organizations. We are also working with partners to rebuild and add new classrooms to primary schools in earthquake-impacted areas, and with IMA World Health to improve water and sanitation at the school level.
In Léogâne, closest to the epicenter of the 2010 quake, Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal University of Haiti’s Faculty of Nursing Science to invest in solar electricity to ensure the school can operate without interruption. We are also working with the university to empower farmers to earn income and alleviate hunger in the area by improving access to quality seeds, teaching post-harvest management and helping farmers to process and market their products.