On the morning of 14 August 2021, a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. Two days later, Tropical Depression Grace made landfall, bringing heavy rains and strong winds – causing further damage and destruction. The Methodist Church in Britain and All We Can promptly launched a joint emergency appeal in response to the subsequent humanitarian crisis.
More than 2,200 people were known to have died in the aftermath of the disaster, with another 12,200 injured and hundreds of thousands of homes, schools, and health clinics damaged or destroyed. At the time of the earthquake, families in some regions were already being forced from their homes due to safety fears over gang violence.
Thanks to the outpouring of generosity in response to the earthquake, efforts of the Methodist Church in Britain and All We Can’s joint appeal focused on meeting critical needs in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Emergency food supplies (rice, oil, peas, and other staples), hygiene and sanitation items (soap, dental hygiene, and disinfectant), and tarpaulin for shelter were supplied to the most impacted households in the Duverger Community. Similar emergency provisions were given to communities in the Grand Anse and Nippes Departments.
In addition, The Methodist Church in Haiti, with its vast experience in serving communities in relief and reconstruction work, was supported through a solidarity grant from the World Mission Fund of the Methodist Church in Britain.
Due to political instability, humanitarian work has proven extremely challenging. Gang violence continues, and fuel shortages and blocked roads have made it extremely difficult to travel within the country. Despite this, The Methodist Church in Britain and All We Can remain committed to helping vulnerable communities rebuild and recover. Meeting emergency needs in the first few weeks of a disaster is critical, but longer-term efforts, ensuring communities are able to become safer and more secure in the face of crises, are vital.
Part of the longer-term work made possible by the Haiti Emergency Appeal will focus on improving water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities in both Grand Anse and Nippes. This will not only help families access safe and clean water but also help communities look after their livestock. Alongside this commitment to walking alongside the most vulnerable communities as they rebuild their water supplies, plans are also being explored for the appeal to help fund livelihood support – helping those who lost everything in the disaster develop a sustainable source of income, to help them navigate their future. All this has been made possible thanks to the kindness of churches and individuals throughout the UK.
The Methodist Church in Britain and All We Can and urge continued prayer for communities in Haiti, who continue to face extremely challenging circumstances. The vital work made possible thanks to the Haiti Emergency Appeal continues and promises to be a critical resource to those who need it most.