Compassion-supported churches are mobilising to care for Haitians devastated by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that tore through the regions of South, Nippes, and Grand‚ÄôAnse on Saturday 14 August.
At least 2,200 people have died in the earthquake. Nearly 10,000 people have been injured. The UN estimates about 500,000 children now have limited or no access to shelter, safe water, and food.
Compassion has a long history of serving children and families in extreme poverty on the island nation and is mobilising staff and funds to support people who have been impacted by the quake.
The earthquake on the weekend that destroyed churches,¬†schools and homes, was in a different part of Haiti than the one in 2010, which impacted the capital Port-au-Prince.
‚ÄúThis rural location provides many different challenges, but we are committed to serving all the children and young people in this area,‚ÄĚ explains Justin.¬†
‚ÄúThe faster we can get support to the country, the more we can do in the next few days and weeks. Sadly, the recovery process may take years, but we are committed to reopening projects to serve children in the area as soon as we can.‚ÄĚ
We're still in the early stages of assessing the final impacts on the children we serve and their families, but early reports show 16 Compassion-sponsored children and 77 caregivers and siblings have died. We are proactively communicating with sponsors and will continue to keep them informed as we know more information.
Our hearts are broken by this very sad news. Please do continue to pray for the families of those who've lost loved ones.
LAST UPDATED 1 September
Haiti Earthquake Update
Compassion has been on the frontline, assisting vulnerable children and their families. In this video,¬†Edouard¬†Lessegue, Compassion's Vice President of Latin America and Caribbean Region, provides an update¬†on our response to this disaster.¬†
Staff members from our National Office are currently assessing the welfare of our church partners, children and their families. We will start informing our sponsors directly when we hear whether their sponsored child has been affected.
Immediate Aid Relief
Our team¬†in Haiti¬†has begun distributing food and hygiene kits¬†for 18,000 children, youth, and families.¬†Medical teams¬†have¬†been sent to the area.¬†As needed,¬†Compassion will provide shelter for children and families who have lost their homes and enable medical care.
Child Protection Measures
Children have been separated from their caregivers in the mayhem of the earthquake. We are setting up child-friendly spaces that offer refuge for unaccompanied minors to safely wait as missing caregivers are located. Children are provided a safe place to play and process their emotions with trusted adults.¬†
The political turmoil, combined with desperation, has created an increase in kidnappings and gang violence.
To avoid inherent dangers in displacement camps,¬†Compassion is trying to keep families and children together.¬†Temporary shelters will be set up on¬†their own land with the potential to become permanent shelters and homes in the future.¬†
Extent of the Impact on Projects
So far, 46 projects have been impacted, which serve more than 17,000 children. Many projects will need to be completely rebuilt.
We‚Äôre hearing reports that 15 projects have been destroyed, with another 15 damaged beyond repair.
Initial estimates for the cost for emergency response and rebuilding is in the region of $20m USD.
Please pray and donate to our Haiti Disaster Appeal
Compassion UK is collecting donations for the recovery process.
‚ÄúWe are asking our supporters to donate to our Haiti Disaster Appeal. And we are asking people to pray,‚ÄĚ says Justin. ‚ÄúPray for the children and family members who have been injured, displaced or whose homes have been destroyed. Please pray for God‚Äôs comfort for those who have lost loved ones and those who are still waiting to hear their news. Pray also that aid will swiftly get to all those affected by this disaster.‚ÄĚ¬†
It‚Äôs been a challenging time for so many people around the world. From a global pandemic to political and social unrest to natural disasters, we have seen so much suffering. It‚Äôs precisely in times like these we should lift our eyes to God.
Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.