It seems that Haiti cannot catch a break.
After the devastating earthquake of 2010, we were hit by a cholera epidemic, and almost every year after that, we’ve been hit by tropical storms and hurricanes, the worst of which was Hurricane Matthew in 2016. After this, we were hit by a series of political crises, lockdowns, a wave of kidnappings, and, this year, the assassination of the president. All of this was happening against the backdrop of serious economic crises, food security crises (with 3.5 million Haitians seriously food insecure), and the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Then, on the 14th of August, 2021, two back-to-back earthquakes hit southern Haiti – one measuring 6.9 and the other 7.2. The damage is still being assessed, but as of now, there are more than 1,400 dead, 6,000 injured, 7,000 houses damaged, and 14,000 people left homeless. Two days later, Tropical Storm Grace hit the earthquake-affected region with heavy rainfalls and powerful winds.
The Haitian people are resilient, but this is too much for us.
This crisis has inspired many people, both in and outside of Haiti, to ask how they can contribute to ease the suffering caused by these natural and human catastrophes. This expression of solidarity is welcome and to be applauded. However, Haiti has long demonstrated that good intentions are not enough. It is important to be strategic and intentional about how we mobilize and direct support for people affected by disasters, or we risk doing more harm than good. Resources should go to local groups that are connected to, accountable to, listening to, and able to respond to the priorities of the people most affected by this crisis.
Many people have specifically asked us where and how they can donate to support local responders in Southern Haiti. We were not originally planning on mobilizing funds for the response as we were focused on mobilizing local blood donations. However, after three days of waiting for the dust to settle, trusted friends and colleagues in the earthquake-affected areas began to tell us more about what is actually happening, we are beginning to get a stronger sense of local groups that are leading smart, effective, and innovative responses. This page was put up so that we can channel resources to these groups in the spirit of Konbit - guided by solidarity, participation, equity, and transparency.
If you would like to contribute, know that all of the donations on this page will be given to local responders, community-based organizations , and local journalists raising the voices of people in the affected regions in Southern Haiti. We will post updates about exactly what funds have been given to which groups, and describe the work these groups are doing. If you have any questions or recommendations, feel free to contact the organizers. And if you would like to contribute, you are welcome to do so. Solidarity is an action.
Note: Just to be clear, we will not be giving funds directly to survivors, but rather to local groups assisting and amplifying the voices of survivors, in order to have the resources go farther.
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