While roads are starting to clear and food and aid are reaching hundreds of thousands of people, the needs are still enormous in Haiti. Toppled buildings, sprawling camps and tented homes set up on the roadside are sobering reminders of the long road ahead.
New fears loom about the oncoming rainy season and the critical needs for emergency shelter and sanitation. “It’s going to turn into Woodstock out there,” says Lane Hartill of Catholic Relief Services, as he explains that the grass has all but worn away under the tents in Pétionville at the former golf course turned into a CRS-led organized camp that attracts as many as 50,000 people during the day and up to 80,000 at night. To help prepare for the coming rains, CRS and partner, Caritas Haiti, have ordered materials for 20,000 temporary shelter kits, and are planning for more.
Nevertheless, they are making strides daily and reaching more people than ever. CRS and Caritas Haiti are distributing an average of 62 metric tons of food per day. In addition to Pétionville, CRS has been designated as lead agency for coordinating relief efforts in the town of Léogâne, as well as for serving around 50 smaller church-identified sites. As a result, CRS and Caritas are anticipating helping hundreds of thousands of people in the next few months.
CRS and Caritas Haiti medical teams are treating an estimated 300 people per day. They are seeing a gradual change in needs from acute wounds to more waterborne illnesses, such as diarrhea and typhoid, so a public health campaign has been created to encourage better sanitary health practices to limit these outbreaks. Additionally, CRS is working with a team from the University of Maryland shock trauma unit, which will be performing round-the-clock surgeries and saving many more lives. The 22-person team brought 8,000 pounds of donated and purchased medical supplies, equipment and medications.
How to Help:
Donate via phone: 1-877-HELP-CRS
Donate via text: Text RELIEF to 25383 to add $10 to your cell phone bill*
Donate online: www.crs.org
Write a check: Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, Maryland 21203-7090
Money orders: Make payable to CRS/Haiti
Catholic Relief Services is the international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency provides assistance to people in more than 100 countries and territories based on need, regardless of race, nationality or creed. For more information, please visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org.