Red Cross teams are active in the wake of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti in mid-August about 80 miles south of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Thousands have lost their lives and more than 60,000 homes were destroyed near the quake's epicenter.
The crisis has also damaged infrastructure such as hospitals, roads, ports and bridges. Flooding, from Tropical Storm Grace, further exacerbated damage to structures in the area. Families are facing heartbreak in the wake of death and destruction.
Haitian Red Cross staff and volunteers are providing emergency shelter support, assisting with food and water distribution and performing recovery efforts alongside local authorities and other organizations. Healthcare facilities in the area remain under great strain. The American Red Cross sent 150 blood products to Project MediShare operating out of Hospital Bernard Mevs in Port-Au-Prince.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has disaster responders on the ground and has sent more than 37 tons of aid such as shelter toolkits, tarps, buckets, jerrycans, kitchen supplies, blankets, personal protection equipment (PPE) and mosquito nets. A humanitarian corridor in the Dominican Republic has been activated and prepositioned non-food items have been distributed to nearly 3,000 people. Relief organizations are coordinating the distribution of shelter commodities to support nearly 50,000 people.
Emergencies of this scale remind us that disaster relief is a team effort. Organizations big and small each have a role to play to ensure gaps are filled.
Americans are so generous when it comes to helping people in need, and we are heartened that so many have asked how they can support relief efforts. Given the many needs in Haiti, we are asking the American public to donate to the charity of their choice to help those in need —be it a local organization or an international aid agency. The American Red Cross is accepting donations for Haiti relief and are in close coordination with the Haitian Red Cross, the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network, and community partners who are responding to this tragedy. We will help meet the needs of families impacted by the quake — as we have done in the past — alongside local organizations, international agencies, and other trusted partners.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.