August 19, 2021
BALTIMORE – On Saturday, August 14, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit southwest Haiti. Port-au-Prince authorities say that at least 2,189 people were killed and 12,668 people were injured. These numbers are expected to rise as rescue crews search through the rubble. The earthquake is the strongest to affect Haiti in recent memory, of a higher magnitude than the devastating earthquake that hit the island in 2010.
“We are devastated by the loss of so many men, women and children. Les Cayes, the epicenter of the earthquake, is a key base of operations for World Relief, and we have deep relationships in that community. Our hearts break for those grieving the loss of their loved ones or suffering under the weight of uncertainty as homes and communities have been destroyed. I am praying for the men and women I met on my last trip to Les Cayes, and I hope others will join me in praying for the people of Les Cayes,” said Myal Greene, president and CEO of World Relief.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has declared a one-month state of emergency to mobilize government resources to support victims. World Relief is on the ground in Haiti, providing aid to the hardest-hit areas with a team located in Les Cayes, close to the epicenter of the earthquake.
“We are so grateful that all World Relief staff have been reported safe following the earthquake, though we mourn that many of them lost loved ones in the earthquake,” said Charles Franzen, World Relief humanitarian and disaster response unit director. “But our position on the ground in Haiti means we will be able to jump right into the relief effort that Haitians need. Our teams and volunteers in Les Cayes and elsewhere are ready to organize and lead.”
“World Relief’s Church Empowerment Zones are continuing to serve the most vulnerable in Haiti,” said Esther Pyram, World Relief Haiti’s Integral Mission and Church Empowerment Zone Manager. “During the devastating aftermath of the earthquake, our prayer is that hope would be revived for all as our teams provide relief to affected communities in need.”
After a rapid assessment of the situation by the World Relief team on Saturday, World Relief youth volunteers were quickly mobilized to assess the full scope of the damage done by the earthquake. World Relief Haiti’s Area Manager in Les Cayes is attending all humanitarian meetings with the Departmental Center for Emergency Operations, and will coordinate World Relief’s response as it unfolds.
World Relief’s disaster response manager and other program managers are communicating with humanitarian actors on the ground to prepare for World Relief’s intervention. Doug Anderson, an experienced humanitarian disaster response leader, will arrive in Haiti on Thursday and will assume responsibility for leading this emergency response.
Tropical Storm Grace brought heavy rainfall and flooding to an already earthquake-damaged Haiti on Monday. World Relief is working to make sure that as many lives as possible are spared from the damage done by this tropical storm.
As disasters continue to strike in Haiti, World Relief asks that you continue to pray for the protection and well-being of those affected by the earthquake and storm. Learn more about how you can help: www.worldrelief.org/respond
To learn more about World Relief, visit https://worldrelief.org/.
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About World Relief
World Relief is a global Christian humanitarian organization that brings sustainable solutions to the world’s greatest problems – disasters, extreme poverty, violence, oppression, and mass displacement. For over 75 years, we’ve partnered with churches and community leaders in the U.S. and abroad to bring hope, healing and transformation to the most vulnerable.
Learn more at worldrelief.org.