Haiti: Earthquake Relief and Information
January 13, 2010
The earthquake that rocked Haiti on January 12 and leveled much of Port-au-Prince, the country's densely populated capital, created one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent memory. More than two weeks later, the situation on the ground is improving, slowly, as aid groups and the United States military work to assist the injured and displaced and provide food, clean water, and shelter to hundreds of thousands of Haitians. Individuals and organizations that would like to contribute to ongoing relief and recovery efforts should check the Web sites below for more information. (Last updated: Friday, January 29, 11:30 a.m. Giving totals compiled by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.)
Organizations Working to Meet Urgent Needs
• As of Wednesday, January 25, Action Against Hunger was working to establish multiple centers designed to provide a range of services to mothers with infants and young children, including a safe environment for breastfeeding, as well as medical, nutritional, and psychological support. The centers are also designed to provide a sense of security for mothers and children recovering from trauma.
• From a recent press release: "In an operation that has involved more emergency response teams than any other single-country disaster in global Red Cross history, the American Red Cross has spent or committed more than $67 million to meet the most urgent needs of earthquake survivors in Haiti. The Red Cross is currently focusing on three areas through its emergency responders and partners: Sending food to those in need, including three million pre-packaged meals and funding for World Food Program efforts that will enable them to feed up to one million people for a month; providing clean drinking water, including 3.5 million liters distributed to date in sixty-eight settlements -- enough water for 100,000 people a day; and distributing shelter items such as blankets, tarps, sleeping mats and tents to families who have been left homeless." Text "HAITI" to 90999 from your mobile phone to donate $10 to the organization's relief efforts. (The Red Cross had raised $185 million as of 1/27, $29 million of that through its text message campaign.)
• AmeriCares' second emergency airlift carrying $500,000 worth of critically needed medical supplies landed in Cap Haitien on January 28. Cap Haitien is the home of Hôpital Sacré Coeur, where hundreds of seriously injured men, women, and children have been evacuated. To date, over $11 million worth of AmeriCares medical aid has been delivered to help earthquake survivors. (The organization had raised more than $7 million as of 1/27.)
• Catholic Relief Services has been working this week with soldiers from the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division to distribute more than two hundred tons of food, principally lentils and bulgar, to about 6,500 families camping out at the Petionville Club golf course east of downtown Port-au-Prince. CRS will also host/support a team of twenty-two doctors, nurses, and other health professionals from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center expected to arrive in Haiti before the weekend. (The organization had raised more than $26.5 million as of 1/27, $13 million of that donated online.)
• The International Rescue Committee is teaming up with Management Sciences for Health, a global nonprofit health development organization, to assist Haitians who were displaced by the January 12 earthquake, as well as communities that are hosting homeless victims of the disaster. IRC and MSH plan to use their combined expertise to carry out a range of programs, including "Cash for Work" programs that will employ out-of-work Haitians; Rehabilitation of damaged health centers; Delivery of drugs and supplies to out-of-stock clinics and health facilities; Water and sanitation projects, with a focus on medical waste management; community health network training and expansion of basic medical services; and transportation of women with obstetrical emergencies (and other patients needing urgent care) to health facilities. (The organization had raised more than $4 million as of 1/25.)
• Mercy Corps' team of emergency response experts is currently focused on immediate humanitarian needs: food to beleaguered hospitals, water and sanitation, trauma support for children, and job creation. The organization is working to provide clean water and safe latrines for 42,000 people in Port-au-Prince; jumpstart the decimated economy through cash-for-work programs and begin rebuilding efforts in earthquake-affected areas; and provide post-trauma help using Comfort for Kids, a counseling methodology first developed in New York by Mercy Corps and Bright Horizons, a global workplace childcare provider. (The organization had raised more than $8.6 million as of 1/27.)
• Los Angeles-based Operation USA's disaster response has focused on the most pressing medical needs due to the devastation of hospitals and medical facilities. With its partner, Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the organization has procured and delivered over $1 million in relief supplies, including high-priority medical supplies, water purification chemicals, shelter materials, and electric generators. Local partners on the ground include St. Damien’s Pediatric Hospital/St. Luke’s Schools, L’Athletique d’Haiti, Partners in Health, International Medical Corps, and the Hands and Feet Project (Jacmel). (The organization had raised $800,000 as of 1/27.)
• Oxfam America has received nearly ninety tons of water-supply, sanitation, hygiene, and shelter materials and is trucking clean drinking water to nine locations in Port-au-Prince and undertaking water treatment and delivery in other towns that were badly damaged by the quake, with the goal of reaching 110,000 people. The organization also has constructed latrines and washing areas to serve 55,000 people, with work under way to provide facilities for 20,000 more; is distributing a variety of relief materials and plastic sheeting to help meet the immediate needs for shelter; has launched a cash-for-work program; and is playing a key role in coordinating with other international agencies. (The organization had raised $10.4 million as of 1/27.)
• More than 700 Salvation Army workers permanently stationed in Haiti are being supported in their disaster response efforts by U.S. and International Salvation Army teams. Earlier this week, the organization was named by the United Nations as the "lead agency" responsible for the well-being of an estimated 20,000 earthquake survivors. The organization will continue to serve those survivors while coordinating with other agencies and planning its long-term recovery for the country. (The organization had raised more than $8.3 million as of 1/26.)
• Two days after the quake struck, United Nations Foundation Vice President of Global Health Dr. Daniel Carucci traveled to Haiti to assess the situation on the ground and determine the best way to assist the UN's emergency response. UNF is taking mobile donations through an Emergency Response Fund. Using your mobile phone, text "CERF" to 90999 to donate $5. (The foundation had raised more than $3.2 million for relief and recovery efforts as of 1/25.)
• United Way Worldwide members in the Caribbean region have mobilized staff, volunteer leaders, and resources in response to the disaster and are working to meet critical basic needs such as shelter, food, and clothing as well as assess the most pressing long-term recovery needs. Donations to the United Way Worldwide Disaster Fund will support recovery and long-term rebuilding needs in devastated Haitian communities.
• The William J. Clinton Foundation -- As the UN's Special Envoy to Haiti, former President Clinton has issued a statement asking all Americans to support immediate relief and long-term recovery efforts in the devastated country. (Through its Haiti Relief Fund, the Clinton Foundation had raised more than $8.8 million as of 1/22.)
• CARE USA has deployed additional emergency team members to Haiti to help distribute and/or deliver high-protein food, hygiene kits, water, and emergency health services. The CARE Haiti team has begun planning for the longer-term response, including things like rebuilding homes and implementing a cash-for-work program that would enlist Haitians to help clear debris. (The organization had raised more than $10.3 million as of 1/25.)
• Direct Relief International sent thirteen pallets of medical material aid to help Partners in Health staff treat injured people at its facility in Port-au-Prince. DRI is also deploying a consignment of medical aid for the Socio-Cultural Movement of Haitian Workers (MOSCTHA), a partner based in the Dominican Republic, to serve as a mobile medical clinic for refugees from the capital and is working in partnership with the Abbott Fund, Google.org, UN-SPIDER (United Nations Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response), and ESRI (ArcGIS) to compile comprehensive GIS mapping tools and assess damage to health facilities, roads, and public infrastructure in Haiti. (The organization had raised more than $2 million as of 1/21.)
• Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières teams are trying to ensure the safety and continued care of patients. Because all three of the MSF medical facilities have been partially damaged, most patients have been treated in tented clinics near existing facilities. Update: MSF now has six other locations in and around Port-au-Prince. (The organization had raised more than $36.5 million as of 1/27. The organization had also received $11.9 million for its general Emergency Relief Fund.)
• Hope for Haiti sent four nurses, three doctors, 75,000 pounds of medical supplies, food, water, and construction materials to two hospital sites in Port-au-Prince. The medical supplies will form the basis of a distribution center supplying L'Hopital General and other hospitals in the area that came through the disaster relatively unscathed.
• Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti (HAS), located 40 miles NW of Port-Au-Prince, suffered minimal damage and is currently operating with a full staff. As of Wednesday, there were 500 patients in this 80-bed facility.
• International Medical Corps' emergency response team is providing medical care outside the general hospital near the Presidential Palace where hundreds of people have congregated for help. Other team members are conducting a rapid needs assessment and visiting hospitals around the city to explore their condition. (The organization had raised more than $3.2 million as of 1/25.)
• Konbit Sante has started treating patients who have been airlifted by UN helicopters from Port-au-Prince to the Justinian University Hospital in Cap-Haitien, which the organization runs in partnership with the Ministry of Health. The 250-bed teaching hospital, which did not suffer damage from the earthquake, is the nation's second largest public hospital. To address short- and long-term term health needs related to the disaster, Konbit Sante has established an Earthquake Response Fund.
• MAP International has assembled a $5.2 million aid package comprised of medicines and medical supplies.Fifty-three pallets were sent to World Vision's shipping facility in Miami and twenty-one pallets are going to Christian Aid Ministries, including ten pallets of Ensure, the protein drink. CAM in Haiti is also expecting an air-freight delivery that includes a Johnson & Johnson Emergency Module.
• MedShare CEO A.B. Short and a team of doctors from International Medical Alliance brought medical supplies and are on the ground providing treatment at a 100-bed hospital on the Haitian border where hundreds of victims are being transported from Port-au-Prince for emergency medical treatment. The organization has already delivered five shipments (approximately 5,000 boxes) of requested medical supplies to organizations in Haiti and is planning, over the next week, to send additional shipments of medical aid supplies.
• Partners in Health, which has been on the ground in Haiti for over twenty years, is ramping up its emergency medical relief efforts. Update: PIH has issued a call for surgeons, nurses, and other medical personnel to come to Haiti and has launched a special Web site to provide updates on the relief efforts there. (The organization had received more than $40 million as of 1/27.)
• World Vision is on the ground distributing medical supplies to hospitals in Port-au-Prince. Among the items delivered to La Paix and L'Espoir hospitals were dressings, antibiotics, tetanus shots, and materials for the treatment of broken bones. (The organization had raised $18.4 million as of 1/26.)
Clothing, Food, and Shelter
• Feed My Starving Children had 28,000 meals airlifted from its Coon Rapids, Minnesota warehouse last Friday. One million FMSC meals are currently on the ground in Haiti.
• Food for the Poor is serving hot meals again at its main feeding center in Port-au-Prince. Ordinarily, the center provides 15,000 meals of rice, beans, and stew each day and the goal is to double that amount over the next day or two. At the same time, Food for the Poor teams are taking in additional food, medical, and building supplies into Haiti across the Dominican Republic border.
• Foot Solutions, on behalf of Soles4Souls, the international charity dedicated to providing free footwear to people in desperate need, is asking the public to drop off gently used shoes at any of their locations.
• ShelterBox tents are being used by hospitals in Port au Prince to provide emergency shelter for post-surgery patients in Haiti's capital.
Children and Families
• Beyond Borders' work is focused on the population of Port-au-Prince and the isolated community of Jacmel. In response to the earthquake, it developed a two-stage strategy to coordinate strategic interventions and facilitate collaboration between local organizations and international aid agencies. In phase one, it will work to secure transport for medical teams and purchase critical such as medicine, satellite phones, mobile internet bases, excavation and clean up materials, and diesel fuel. In phase two, it will use funds raised to assist local partners who have lost school buildings, homes, and offices; support education, teacher training, sustainable agriculture, and investments in rural livelihoods; and continue its unique focus on child protection and welfare, especially for children who have lost parents and family or become separated from them.
• Childcare Worldwide has launched an online fundraising appeal, Fill the Container Challenge, via Facebook to raise enough money to send one 20-ton container of fortified rice packets, water, and medical supplies to Haiti.
• Save the Children has launched an emergency relief effort to assist children and families in Haiti. To provide children with a supervised place to play, the organization is establishing a child-friendly space on the grounds of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Ruelle St. Cyr, Carrefour Ti-Four. For more information on the organization's work, watch its videos on YouTube, or read its Voices From the Field blog. Using your mobile phone, text "SAVE" to 20222 to donate $10. (The organization had raised more than $14.6 million as of 1/27, and the group's international affiliates had raised an additional $18 million.)
• UNICEF and its partners are focused on providing for children who are lost or have been orphaned or separated from their families. Safe spaces for all children under the age of five should be available by the end of the week. Together with its partners, UNICEF is also setting up nutrition support for children under two years of age. (The U.S. Fund for UNICEF had raised $31.5 million of 1/27.)
New and Established Funds
• The AARP Foundation is providing a 1:1 match for any gift made to the AARP Foundation Haiti Relief Fund, up to $500,000.
• Through its Strategic Crisis Fund, ActionAid is supporting the relief and recovery efforts of its teams in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.
• American Jewish World Service has created a Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund to support its network of grantees as they work to address the urgent needs of the affected population. (The organization had raised $5 million as of 1/27.)
• The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is accepting donations to respond to unmet needs in the country, foster economic opportunity, improve the quality of life for those affected by the disaster over the long term, and assist the people of Haiti as they rebuild their lives and "build back better." Using your mobile phone, text "QUAKE" to 20222 to donate $10. (The fund had raised more than $17 million as of 1/26.)
• Global Giving is accepting donations through its Relief Fund for Haiti Earthquake. (The organization had raised more than $912,000 as of 1/27.)
• Friday's Hope for Haiti Now telethon, which benefits Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme, Yele Haiti Foundation, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation, will continue to collect donations for six months. Text "GIVE" to 50555 to donate $10. (The fund had raised more than $58 million as of 1/23.)
• The United Nations Foundation is taking mobile donations through an Emergency Response Fund. Using your mobile phone, text "CERF" to 90999 to donate $5.
• The Tides Foundation's Relief and Reconstruction Fund has been re-activated to aid relief efforts in the devastated country.
• Yelé Haiti, a charity created by the Haitian-American musician Wyclef Jean, is accepting donations via text message. Using your mobile phone, text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 to the Yelé Haiti Earthquake Fund.
Organizations Providing Long-Term Relief
• Architecture for Humanity, which provides shelter for people forced to leave their homes after a natural disaster, has launched an fundraising appeal focused on long-term reconstruction efforts in the devastated country.
• The Grameen Foundation will provide long-term support to help poor families in Haiti rebuild their lives.
• Habitat for Humanity International has worked in Haiti for more than twenty-six years and will continue to serve the people there by helping them to rebuild. (The organization had raised more than $1.65 million as of 1/27.)
• The Lambi Fund of Haiti says it will be there to help Haitians rebuild "long after the relief service providers leave."
Government and Multilateral Agencies Efforts
• The UN World Food Programme began distributing food assistance within hours of the earthquake and has launched a $279 million relief operation to reach 2 million Haitians as well as providing logistical and telecommunications support to the entire humanitarian community. (Friends of the World Food Program had raised more than $3.9 million as of 1/27.)
• USAID has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART) to Hait¡ comprising up to seventeen members and has activated a D.C.-based Response Management Team to support it. USAID/DART will assess humanitarian needs and coordinate assistance with the U.S. embassy in Port-au- Prince, the international community, and the Government of Haiti (GoH).
Community Foundations/Grantmaker Associations
A growing number of organizations have created relief funds and/or special sections on their Web sites with resources and information on how you can help:
• Boston Foundation
• Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
• Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
• Council on Foundations
• Delaware Community Foundation
• Donors Forum of Chicago
• Donors Forum of Wisconsin
• Florida Philanthropic Network
• Greater New Orleans Foundation
• Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice
• Oklahoma City Community Foundation
• Philanthropy New York
• Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
• Silicon Valley Community Foundation
• Taos Community Foundation (NM)
• Triangle Community Foundation (NC)
Social Media Efforts
• Causes on Facebook has a Haiti relief page.
• The Center for International Disaster Information has launched a site with more information on emergency relief in the devastated country, including volunteering information.
• Haiti/2010 Earthquake Wiki
• Search giant Google has teamed with the U.S. State Department to create an online People Finder gadget that allows people to submit information about missing persons in Haitia as well as to search a database of that information. (See our post about the effort here.)
• The International Committee of the Red Cross has launched an online tool for finding and listing missing persons.
• The Miami Herald's Haiti Connect feature lets readers upload pictures of missing loved ones.
• Network for Good has compiled a list of organizations providing emergency relief. (The organization had processed more than $5 million for relief efforts as of 1/27.)
• The Extraordinaries has launched a site with tools for anyone to volunteer and help locate/identify missing persons.
• Ushahidi has adapted their platform for crisis reporting and mapping of the situation in Haiti.
• We Have, We Need is a Craigslist-style site where nonprofits working in Haiti can post needs and requests and find donors.
• CNN Report: Haiti Faces Devastation offers breaking news and a list of resources.
• The Consulate General of Haiti in New York provides a list of Haitian organizations and community centers in the New York metropolitan area.
• The Embassy of Haiti in Washington, D.C., has created an Earthquake Information and Emergency Response area on its Web site.
• Global Voices is posting tweets and photos from Port-au-Prince.
• Google's Crisis Response Page includes real-time updates on disaster relief efforts in Haiti.
• Haitifeed provides Twitter updates, photos, videos, and more on what is happening on the ground.
• InterAction lists more than fifty-nine well-vetted NGOs working to help survivors of the disaster.
• The Mobile Giving Foundation lists current donation options for giving via mobile phone on its Web site. (The foundation had helped facilitate $27 million in small donations made via moble phones as of Tuesday, January 19.)
• The U.S. Department of State has posted phone numbers for people asking for or providing information about U.S. citizens in Haiti, and for U.S. citizens in Haiti seeking assistance or reporting their status/whereabouts.
Advice to Donors
• Haiti Emergency Update and Investing in Disaster Response (Arabella Advisors)
• Giving in Times of Disasters (Charities Review Council)
• Tips, Tips And More Tips For Funding Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts (Charity Navigator)
• Tom McGhee: Donors Should Check Out Aid Groups Before Giving (Denver Post)
• Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud Alert (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
• William P. Barrett: How To Spot Dubious Haiti Charity Pleas (Forbes)
• David Randall: How to Make Sure Your Donation Helps Haitian Earthquake Victims (Forbes' Money Builder blog)
• Bob Ottenhoff: Helping in Haiti (GuideStar)
• Victoria Fine: Haiti Earthquake Relief: How You Can Help (Huffington Post)
• Guidelines on the Most Appropriate Ways to Help (InterAction)
• Laura Starita: Advice for Donors to Haiti (Philanthropy Action News)
• Rosetta Thurman: Four Lies People Tell Themselves About Philanthropy (Or Why You Shouldn’t Send Canned Goods to Haiti)