“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, . . .” (Matt. 25:34-36 NIV)
The Church of the Brethren is committed to walking with our sisters and brothers in Haiti as they seek relief and recovery from the magnitude 7.2 earthquake which struck the southwest of the country on Aug. 14, 2021, as well as the effects of Tropical Storm Grace, which passed over the same area a few days afterward, bringing wind, up to 10 inches of rain, and flooding. The human toll of the quake and storm (over 2,000 dead, several hundred people missing, at least 12,268 injured, over 30,000 homeless, and a traumatized population still healing from 2016’s Hurricane Matthew), as well as the structural and infrastructural damage and destruction, reveal a disaster of huge proportions that will require a long-term response.
YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE RESPONSE IS CRITICAL
As an immediate response, an Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) relief grant of $5,000 was extended to Eglises des Freres d’Haiti (Church of the Brethren in Haiti) within days of the disaster to enable the church to provide some immediate relief supplies such as food, shelter, water, and hygiene and medical supplies. Brethren Disaster Ministries is partnering with the Haitian Church and working with them to determine the best way for the U.S. church to support their earthquake response. An additional $75,000 EDF grant has already been approved to support emergency relief. The earthquake relief and recovery response will involve a multi-year effort which is expected to cost several hundred thousand dollars.
Haitian Church National Committee members traveled to the earthquake affected region bringing not only relief supplies, but also prayers, concern, and encouragement. They were particularly interested in doing an assessment of the damage and needs in the area around Saut Mathurine, where, after Hurricane Matthew, EDF grants funded a joint BDM/Haitian Church of the Brethren response supporting relief, agricultural programs, and home rebuilding which led to a church plant and an enthusiastic and growing congregation. Ninety percent of the homes in the area and the temporary church building were destroyed in the earthquake. The homes built during the hurricane response were some of the only buildings with little or no damage. Many people were injured and at least one church member died.
Immediate needs identified in Saut Mathurine by the church leaders are
- Food and potable water
- Medical care
- Hygiene and sanitation supplies
Longer-term needs may also include
- Home reconstruction
- Water supply
- Livelihood support
- Trauma healing and resiliency training
BDM is also partnering with Church World Service (CWS), which plans to work with partners in Pestel (Grand’Anse department), where they responded to damage from Hurricane Matthew. Their response will involve emergency relief, home rebuilding, psychosocial and trauma recovery support, livelihood programs, and water infrastructure repairs.
For additional information, please contact BDM at email@example.com or 800-451-4407. For information about the Eglises des Freres d’Haiti (Church of the Brethren in Haiti), visit www.brethren.org/global/haiti.