Remembering the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2016) – Food For The Poor is commemorating the six-year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake by keeping its promise to help the Haitian people recover from one of the worst natural disasters in the Caribbean country’s history.
Since the Jan. 12, 2010 tragedy, the charity has built 5,900 permanent two-room concrete block homes with water and sanitation, providing more than 35,400 people with a safe and secure place to live. The charity also has built or restored 37 schools in the Port-au-Prince area.
“After the catastrophic earthquake, Food For The Poor made the commitment to be there for the long haul. Building secure homes for displaced families living in inhumane conditions became our priority, along with restoring as many schools as possible,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “Access to potable water also was vitally important. Thanks to our loving and generous donors, Food For The Poor has installed 105 water filtration units and drilled 542 wells and pumps, providing nearly 3 million people with access to clean water each day.”
Since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, Food For The Poor also has shipped 6,260 tractor-trailer loads of essential aid including: rice, sardines, beans, rice/soy meals, medicine, medical supplies, school and dorm furniture, tile, shoes, hygiene items, household items, cleaning supplies, and construction supplies.
As Haiti slowly recovers from the earthquake that claimed the lives of thousands and catapulted the country’s fractured economy into near ruin, another crisis on the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, has exacerbated the number of the homeless.
The situation is the result of a change in the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court in 2013, which removed citizenship from anyone born after 1929 who doesn’t have one parent of Dominican blood. The country later decided that those affected could apply for a residency permit, with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2015.
“This immigration battle has sent thousands of people, many with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a few personal items, flooding into Haiti. These displaced families are setting up makeshift camps along the border where cholera and other health issues are wreaking havoc,” said Mahfood. “This organization is committed to helping as many earthquake victims as we can to get out of the tent cities, and Food For The Poor is making the same promise to families living in dangerous conditions along the border. Our goal has been, and will continue to be, to help victims of natural or man-made disasters – one person, one family at a time.”
Relief has come for 166 people who fled to Fond Bayard, Haiti, from the Dominican Republic. In September 2015, Food For The Poor transported these families to safe shelter in Petite Rivière, in the Artibonite region of the country. The Haitian Government has donated 76 acres of land on which Food For The Poor is currently building 100 homes for the displaced families from the Dominican Republic, as well as 20 homes for families already living in an area of Artibonite.
According to the International Organization for Migration, as of July 2015, there were more than 61,000 earthquake victims living in camps scattered throughout the Port-au-Prince region and more than 66,000 people are believed to have fled to Haiti to avoid threats of deportation from the Dominican Republic.
“Even though the number of displaced individuals has dropped significantly since the 2010 earthquake, it’s not enough. One displaced family in a camp in the city or in the countryside along the border of the Dominican Republic is one family too many,” said Mahfood.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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