Photo: Christophe Da Silva for Action Against Hunger, Haiti
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit southern Haiti on the morning of August 14, 2021, has impacted an estimated 1.2 million people, including 540,000 children. Roseval Supreme, Action Against Hunger’s Country Director in Haiti, issued the following statement:
“Saturday’s earthquake killed more than 1,400 people and injured countless others. Thousands of homes and buildings, including medical facilities, churches, and schools were destroyed. Now, as we mourn the loss of our fellow citizens, we are facing the threat of flooding and landslides as a result of Tropical Storm Grace.
Thankfully, all members of our team in Haiti are safe. Our key programs are located in the northwestern region (the Northwest and Artibonite departments) of the country, which was spared the worst impacts of the earthquake. Action Against Hunger has been working in Haiti since 1985 – we were one of the first responders to the 2010 earthquake. We understand the urgency of this moment and stand ready to help.
Right now, in coordination with local authorities and partners, we are carrying out rapid needs assessments in the three departments (Grande-Anse, Nippes, and Sud) most impacted by the earthquake. To start, our emergency response will prioritize improving access to clean water and safe sanitation to prevent disease outbreaks and distributing lifesaving nutrition, hygiene, and other supplies. Additionally, we will provide mental health support for community members and frontline workers, as it is clear this event has once again traumatized many people who experienced the devastation of the 2010 earthquake.
As a Haitian and a leader of a humanitarian and development organization that has worked in Haiti for more than 35 years, I worry for my country’s future. We have been hit by one crisis after another, and I fear that we are reaching a breaking point. We face tremendous challenges, including four million people who are struggling with rising hunger driven by issues including inflation, unemployment, civil political unrest, persistent drought, the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 – and now the impact of another earthquake.
Now is not the time for the world to turn its back on Haiti. We need partnership and support more than ever.”