It has now been almost a month since the devastation of Haiti’s most recent earthquake which killed 2,207 people and injured over 12,000, on August 14th, 2021. The earthquake which shook Haiti’s southwestern provinces, was followed shortly after by Tropical Depression Grace further disrupting access to water, sanitation, shelter and other basic services.
As of September 7th, an estimated 800,000 people, including 340,000 children have been affected by the earthquake. Beyond Borders was in Haiti back in 2010 and saw not only the devastation that natural events like earthquakes create, but the increased vulnerability of marginalized groups. The risk of family separation at this time is significantly increased, unaccompanied and separated children are at heightened risk of child trafficking and abuse. Women and girls are also at an even greater risk of experiencing sexual and physical violence.
As you know, Beyond Borders is not a humanitarian relief organization. We aren’t like big NGOs or international governments with a warehouse of emergency supplies ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. While Beyond Borders isn’t a “boots on the ground” team when it comes to disaster response, we are putting our expertise in community mobilization to work with the Haiti Response Coalition – a group of organizations with a mission to improve coordination and support Haitian solutions and rights-based disaster response.
Here’s the latest on the help that Beyond Borders is offering through the Haiti Response Coalition — help that your generosity is making possible.
- An initial 1,600 tarps were distributed to families with damaged or destroyed homes.
- Rapid assessments of communities are being completed and have identified seven isolated communities that have gotten little or no outside assistance. The HRC is drawing attention to these communities and making them a priority for aid.
- The HRC launched a food security working group with a mandate to help ensure that families facing hunger due to the quake receive targeted support with locally produced food.
- As part of the broader effort to promote greater coordination of relief and recovery efforts, the HRC is supporting the development of a new platform that uses crowdsourcing to match real-time local needs with resources available from national and international organizations.
- The HRC is supporting the work of Konbit Jounalis Lib, a group of Haitian journalists reporting from the most affected areas about immediate needs with a focus on human rights.
- The HRC has a constant presence at the United Nations, national and departmental level meetings coordinating earthquake response efforts.
- HRC members have developed new minimum standards that we are promoting and asking organizations that are responding to the earthquake to agree to so that the mismanagement and chaos of past international response efforts isn’t repeated. Dozens of organizations have pledged to uphold these new standards while dozens of individuals have signed the complimentary petition asking that they do so.
- Additionally the HRC has been instrumental in organizing a grassroots campaign lobbying U.S. lawmakers to halt all deportations back to Haiti.
Looking ahead, Beyond Borders and the HRC . . .
- are developing plans with local partners in the region to prevent a spike in violence against women and girls,
- will prioritize work with local organizations to protect the rights of vulnerable children in the affected communities,
- will begin making small cash grants to families of $40 USD — enough to feed a typical family for two to three weeks.
We thank you for your continued support and solidarity. We’ll continue to keep you updated on our work.