Haiti Response Update
There’s never an ideal moment for the ground to start shaking, but June 6 was particularly bad timing for an earthquake in Haiti.
It had only been a few days since a torrential rainstorm overflowed rivers across the country, causing severe flash flooding, rockslides and landslides. The storm impacted 45,000 households and killed 58 people. Another four would lose their lives in the 4.9-magnitude earthquake that would strike the country’s southwestern coast three days later.
Brother’s Brother Foundation responded to the back-to-back disasters by providing a grant to long-time partner Food For the Poor. Funds are being used to assemble and distribute 144 resealable five-gallon buckets filled with cleaning supplies that include laundry detergent, scouring pads, work gloves, heavy-duty trash bags, N95 masks, a clothesline and clothespins, air freshener spray, and reusable wipes.
BBF also air-shipped 35,000 pairs of industrial gloves and 690 hygiene kits from its warehouse in Pittsburgh to Food For The Poor’s office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital city. Assembled by volunteers at BBF’s warehouse in Pittsburgh, each hygiene kit contains everyday essentials such as shampoo and toothpaste, tissues, and feminine hygiene products.
The recent disasters are the latest developments in what has been a devastating two years for Haitians. The assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021 thrust the country into chaos and uncertainty. A month later, more than 2,200 Haitians lost their lives in a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that left 130,000 homes and 900 schools either damaged or destroyed. The disaster impacted an estimated 800,000 people and resulted in more than $1.5 billion in damages.
BBF enacted an extensive response to the 2021 earthquake that air shipped medication and supplies into the country and provided funding to transport Haitian medical teams to clinics where patients were receiving treatment. In addition, BBF signed a grant to support the Haitian government and its partners as they devised a plan to improve access to basic care in rural communities.
In the two years since Haiti’s 2021 earthquake, BBF has supplied a total of 35 shipments of medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and durable medical equipment to eight organizations working on the ground in the country.
Transportation difficulties have prevented the distribution of food and fuel and the disposal of waste, creating a hunger crisis and a breeding ground for Cholera. In September 2022, Haiti reported its first case of Cholera in three years. By February of 2023, the number of Cholera cases had surpassed 31,000 and spread to the country’s 10 departments.
Haiti’s need for aid has skyrocketed. In the two years since Haiti’s 2021 earthquake, BBF has supplied a total of 35 shipments of medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and durable medical equipment to eight organizations working on the ground in the country. Items received included anything from ventilation masks and crutches to high blood pressure medications and antibiotics used to treat severe cases of Cholera. Twenty-six of the shipments were 40’ containers, one of which began its journey to Haiti just two weeks prior to the arrival of the torrential rainstorm in June.
BBF continues to provide relief in Haiti through its partnership with Food For The Poor. Plans to air ship disaster response supplies are ongoing as BBF staff monitor the situation.