On August 14th, 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake crippled southern Haiti, killing at least 2,200 people. Over 12,000 people were injured, and 130,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Haiti was already reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, unparalleled economic hardship, as well as social and political unrest in the wake of the assassination of its president weeks before. Haiti’s hospitals were quickly overwhelmed, and people were unable to get the medical care they desperately needed.
With support from Federations like ours, aid from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) came almost immediately. JDC provided life-saving care to people like Esther (an alias) in the small community of Rita. Esther’s house collapsed on her during the earthquake, breaking her pelvis. Eight days after the earthquake she had yet to be seen by a medical team; she was essentially stranded, unable to seek medical care. Thanks to your support for JDC, the medical team was able to provide assistance and arrange medical evacuation to get Esther the treatment she needed.
JDC and Haiti share a rich history, dating back to the late 1930’s and early 40’s when JDC helped Jewish refugees find haven from the Nazis in Haiti and neighboring countries. In 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, claiming over 200,000 lives. JDC quickly responded, partnering with local organizations to provide short-term food, water, and medical care, as well as long-term educational and livelihood resources.
After the 2021 earthquake, your contributions provided:
- Lifesaving care and supplies quickly to the most affected people in the most remote locations; 2,500 pounds of essential supplies, such as bandages; gauze; and surgical gowns, masks, and gloves
- Mobile clinics and medical supplies for the injured
- Food to the hungry
- Medical equipment to overwhelmed hospitals
The Federation system is skilled and experienced in disaster response. In the words of Djerhy Jn Baptiste, JDC’s consultant on the ground in Haiti: “From 2010 until now, I’ve seen firsthand that JDC is unlike any other humanitarian organization, mobilizing its local partners and listening to what they need. These local partnerships are crucial for a successful disaster response; these organizations are deeply rooted in the communities they support, with decades of outstanding impact.”