September 15, 2021
The magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck southern Haiti on August 14 claimed approximately 2,200 lives. It is now estimated that more than 135,000 homes were seriously damaged or destroyed. Some 200,000 people lost access to safe drinking water, as wells collapsed and water sources were contaminated. The area was already experiencing substantial food insecurity before the quake and this has increased by at least 25%, with a total of perhaps 1 million people facing hunger, primarily due to the rapidly rising cost of food. Persons needing medical assistance have been assisted and relief agencies, including the government and its partners, have redirected their focus to rebuilding homes and livelihoods. The re-building phase will continue for many years.
The Lamp for Haiti Health Center is not in the crisis zone, but, as a health-focused agency, we stand ready to contribute to this tragic event in any way that we can. We feel, however, that our most effective role is to work, ever more diligently, at what we do best. That is, to continue to provide long term health services to the desperately impoverished residents of Cité Soleil, a shantytown on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. The enormity of the crisis in the south will continue to affect all areas of Haitian life for years to come, and this effect will be felt especially strongly by those on the economic margins, such as those in the community we serve. It can be noted that Cité Soleil is currently experiencing a large increase in population, due to the influx of people from the earthquake zone who have lost their homes. The Lamp will, in other words, be contributing to the relief effort in this indirect fashion.
The Lamp is also undertaking a modest rebuilding effort in one affected village but we feel that we can best assist in the ongoing relief efforts by channeling any additional funds we receive for this emergency to those partner agencies, such as St. Luke Foundation for Haiti, that are on the front lines of the relief effort. Our own Lamp for Haiti Health Center remains open in Port-au-Prince and we welcome your contributions to this critical work.
Healthcare, partnership, community. We stand in solidarity with the people of the region, with our partner organizations, and with all those who find a place in their hearts for the less fortunate.
*** The Lamp welcomes your contributions to our ongoing programs for the underserved in Haiti ***