Our thoughts and prayers are with Haiti as nearly 304 people have died following a massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on August 14. CNN reports that around 1800 people were injured. The quake hit just five miles from the town of Petit Trou de Nippes and rippled about 78 miles west of the capital city of Port-au-Prince.
A hospital near the southern city of Jeremie says they are flooded with patients since the disaster struck and are in need of desperate aid, CNN notes. With supplies running low, the facility has been forced to set up tents to extend their room for intake.
“When it comes to medical needs, this is our biggest urgency. We have started to send medications and medical personnel to the facilities that are affected,” Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry said. “For the people who need urgent special care, we have evacuated a certain number of them, and we will evacuate some more today and tomorrow.”
According to Reuters a town called Les Cayes has been severely impacted and authorities are on a desperate search for survivors after numerous buildings collapsed and were reduced to rubble.
“I saw bodies being pulled out of the rubble, injured and perhaps dead people,” Les Cayes resident Jean Marie Simon, 38, told Reuters. “I heard cries of pain everywhere I passed through.”
Henry has now issued a month-long state of emergency and he’s working fast to provide relief to areas that have been extremely devastated by the earthquake.
“The most important thing is to recover as many survivors as possible under the rubble. We have learned that the local hospitals, in particular that of Les Cayes, are overwhelmed with wounded, fractured people,” he said. “The needs are enormous. We must take care of the injured and fractured, but also provide food, aid, temporary shelter, and psychological support.”
Currently, The International Red Cross and hospitals throughout the country are providing assistance with aid. President Biden has also deployed the USAID to help assess the “damage and assist in rebuilding”, AP News reported.
However, if you’re looking for ways to donate to Haiti, people from the island are asking individuals to avoid sending money to organizations like The Red Cross and The Clinton Foundation as frustrations still loom over what happened following 2010’s devastating earthquake. The Red Cross reportedly raised nearly $500 million in donations for emergency relief following the catastrophic event but many say the money was not used to help with food and restoration for infrastructure.
For a list of reputable organizations to donate to (and some you should avoid) check out this resource at VisitHaiti.com
Alternatively Planting Peace and Doctors Without Borders are other relief effort programs that have a longstanding track record of providing aid and resources to Haiti’s prior travesties. Please consider donating to one of these organizations.