Supporting Partners in Haiti After the August 2021 Earthquake

Damage to one of the buildings in Pestel, Haiti. Photo courtesy of Church World Service.

Press Release
Episcopal Relief & Development Partners with Church World Service in Haiti

Press Release

August 24, 2021

Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with Church World Service (CWS) to provide assistance in Pestel, Haiti, after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake earlier this month. The program will include medical care, shelter, clean water, hygiene kits and educational services.

On Saturday, August 14, a major earthquake struck the southwest of Haiti (Nippes, South and Grand´Anse departments). Then, on Monday and Tuesday, August 16 and 17, Tropical Storm Grace brought heavy rains to many of the same communities. The storm triggered mudslides and compounded the earthquake’s damage, further hampering relief efforts. According to the humanitarian mapping organization MapAction, the impact of the earthquake on the commune of Pestel, Grand´ Anse department was “very strong.” Pestel had not yet recovered from the effects of the Category 4 Hurricane Matthew in 2016. 

In the wake of the earthquake, the local government reported that 30% of the houses in the community had been destroyed and another 60 percent had been impacted. Nearly all of the village’s water cisterns have been damaged, making clean water scarce. Centre de Sante de Pestel, the local health center, has seen an average of 200 patients per day since the quake. Additionally, the psychological trauma of the successive disasters to the community and individuals is a concern for CWS leaders.

The partnership between Church World Service and Episcopal Relief & Development in Pestel will provide assistance in several key areas, including medical care, psychosocial support and direct relief. All assistance will be carried out with appropriate COVID-19 protocols and guidelines to maintain the safety of participants, staff and volunteers. The program will enable the local health care center to provide primary medical care to over 10,000 people. Children and adult community members will be given community-based psychosocial support through existing Wozo clubs. The word wozo is a Haitian reed that symbolizes resilience and tenacity. These clubs were established by a local organization, Wozo Haiti, after the 2010 earthquake, and later expanded through a partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development to help Haitians reconstruct the social fabric of the country and build richer, resilient and socially cohesive communities.

In addition, the most vulnerable families whose homes were impacted by the earthquake will be given direct assistance such as tents, clean water and hygiene kits.

“CWS’ established and trusted relationships with the community and local governing agencies enabled our partners to begin damage and needs assessments the day after the earthquake,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Senior Program Officer, Episcopal Relief & Development. “The combined networks of Episcopal Relief & Development’s partners allow us to truly work together to swiftly respond to safely meet needs that are not being addressed by other organizations.”

Episcopal Relief & Development continues to partner with local organizations such as Church World Service, the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti and others to respond to the devastating earthquake. The organization remains committed to its long-term partnerships to create lasting change in Haiti. Please consider a donation to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Haiti Fund to support this important work.

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.

 


Damage caused by earthquake
Damage caused by Saturday’s earthquake. Photo courtesy of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti.

Press Release
Episcopal Relief & Development Responds to the Earthquake in Haiti 

Press Release

August 18, 2021

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.

 


 

Web Statement

Supporting Partners in Haiti After the August 2021 Earthquake

Web Statement

August 16, 2021

Episcopal Relief & Development is in close contact with long-term development partners in Haiti after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the country on Saturday, August 14, 2021. The earthquake killed over a thousand people, caused structures to collapse and triggered landslides and flooding in the western part of the nation.

Our partners, including the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, have been assessing damage and checking in on the status of priests, parishes and community members. While the full extent of the damage has yet to be determined, initial reports are of over one thousand dead and over five thousand injured, centered in the departments of Grand Anse, Sud and Nippes. The US State Department has estimated over 1.6 million people have been affected. 

“We are deeply saddened by the reports coming from our friends and partners in Haiti,” said Abagail Nelson, Executive Vice President, Episcopal Relief & Development. “We pray for their safety as Tropical Storm Grace approaches the country. We are currently mobilizing to work with an array of development partners to meet the immediate and long-term needs of affected communities.”  

Please pray for our siblings in Haiti and all those affected by this earthquake. Donations to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Haiti Fund will support the organization’s continued emergency response efforts in Haiti.

For 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.