Haiti Earthquake Update

Almost a month has passed by since the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the south of Haiti, devastatingly killing over 2,200 people and injuring over 12,000.

Aid is arriving into Haiti, but a number of challenges face International Aid Agencies, local NGOs and churches as they continue to offer immediate food, water and shelter relief to affected communities. David Draeger, Mission Volunteer Coordinator for the Haiti District of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, describes some of these realities as the Haiti District continues to support these southern communities:

Things can get busy and time seems to fly by. Other NGOs are becoming active. I see food convoys from USAID making deliveries to both Cayes and Jeremie. I have made two major deliveries with food, medical supplies and temporary shelter materials.  I have a third planned for early next week. 

Rescue operations have been completed. Relief operations are in full gear. Activity is being paced by delivery of funds… 

Thus far supply of critical items such as food and medical supplies have been adequate. Sometimes we may have to make multiple stops to multiple vendors to acquire what we need but generally are successful. Money is still the best way to support the effort.

Security remains a major issue. Attempted kidnappings and robberies have increased in the past several weeks. Delivey by truck is problematic.  The gangs at Martissant have gone back to their normal mode of frequent roadblocks, shootings and kidnappings.  I am still able to travel to Les Cayes and Jeremie by getting up and on the road by 4:00am when most of the bad guys are sleeping. Returning in the afternoon or evening is still a major issue.  We have to spend the night at someplace like Petite Goave and be on the road by 3:00am in order to clear Martissant. Unfortunately Martissant is a singular pinch point in the road and there is no way to avoid it.  The gangs of course know this which is why they are where they are. 

The relief phase will realistically last for the next six months and items like food and medical supplies will still be required…

The recovery phase is just beginning as home owners and organizations like the church are figuring out what is required and starting to make repairs. Derly Charles, the engineer that served us well during the 2010 earthquake, is now on the payroll for the next three months. He and his colleagues have just started to develop plans and budgets so that we may prioritize work.  

With the current global attitudes toward contributing to repairs projects, I suspect that the recovery phase for this event will take decades if not generations to accomplish.  I am still optimistic that with God's help we can make positive progress…

I ask for your continued prayers and support for the many facets involved in recovery.”

Please join us in continuing to pray for Haiti as its communities recover, and please consider giving to the joint Methodist Church in Britain and All We Can Haiti Earthquake Emergency Appeal.