As of September 14, a month after the 7.2-magnitude earthquake and the following hurricane, Government and humanitarian actors are transitioning to into recovery and reconstruction phase; however, relief and humanitarian assistance in the form of food security, non-food items, WASH, and protection are of high need, especially in the rural areas, which have been comparatively more impacted than urban areas. According to UNICEF, 212,000 people have lost access to safe drinking water due to damage to piped water systems, a condition that brings, among others, WASH issues amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, of which is exacerbated by the damages to over 80 health facilities, many of which are already short on supplies. Furthermore, according to OCHA and the WFP, access to food and power is continuing to decline, with nearly 1 million people, which is an estimated 45% of the population in Grand-Sud, are and will continue to experience high levels of acute food insecurity.
For partners and humanitarian organizations, food and non-food items support, protection, and WASH assistance and programs are needed. Since the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation’s food relief distribution in the first week of September, the organization has, as of September 15, held 3 more distributions, totaling 4 to date. The second distribution, held on September 10 in collaboration with Caritas Haiti, benefitted 1,250 families, providing each household with a large bag of rice and a carryable food package filled with beans, shredded corn, pasta like spaghetti and macaroni, cooking oil, and Aquatabs® Water Purifying Pills; the third distribution, held with the support of Dashka Bennett, Vice President of Gigi Depot, the food products distributor in Port-au-Prince from whom Tzu Chi Volunteers purchased some of the food items, benefitted 1,000 households; and the fourth distribution was held on September 15 in Les Cayes with the help and support of the Taiwan Technical Mission in the Republic of Haiti, part of the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund—with their help, 1,000 households received two bags of rice, bringing the total distribution amount to 2,000 bags.
Through the support of local community volunteers, many of whom became Tzu Chi volunteers and received training only recently, government, and agencies such as the Embassy of Taiwan and Caritas Haiti, Tzu Chi will continue its relief and recovery, potentially expanding to other areas such as Camp Perrin where Tzu Chi’s response team has just completed needs assessments, potential building reconstruction, and health facility and hospital support.
Please see the following video link for Tzu Chi’s recent distributions in Hati: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKJjSkW7IGM&ab_channel=TzuChiUSA360
To follow Tzu Chi’s response in Haiti, please visit: https://tzuchi.us/haiti
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