Expanded CWS Situation Update: Haiti Earthquake

Conditions in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince remain critical, if not dire, with emergency efforts focused on continuing rescue of those trapped underneath rubble. The full extent of damage is staggering, with the UN estimating that a full 50 percent of the worst-hit areas had been totally destroyed.

Frustration is rising among residents about the problems in getting assistance to earthquake survivors - with some reports of looting - though the capital city remained calm, The New York Times reported. Tremors and aftershocks rocked Port-au-Prince overnight, as residents remained outdoors without electricity or phone service.

Aid agencies face the challenges of getting assistance to those who need it due to continued logistical challenges that include damaged or destroyed roads and other infrastructure collapse. Agencies are now looking to the neighboring Dominican Republic as the hub for the humanitarian response until access in Haiti improves.

CWS Response

Church World Service is sending funds to local partners in Haiti as it continues to assess the situation; partner SSID in the Dominican Republic (DR) is sending pre-positioned CWS Kits and Blankets to Haiti from its warehouse in Santo Domingo.

CWS is working in conjunction with long-term DR partner, Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas (SSID), which will receive and purchase material aid in Santo Domingo and transport the aid into Haiti. SSID is currently sending pre-positioned CWS Kits and Blankets to Haiti, while CWS prepares to send a 40-foot container with additional Baby Care and Hygiene Kits. CWS anticipates providing assistance to Haitians nationals who attempt to enter the Dominican Republic, in part with the establishment of a storage and distribution center in Jimani (DR). CWS and SSID also plan to mobilize other NGOs in the Dominican Republic to offer support for children's programs in Haiti.

CWS-supported efforts will include the construction of temporary water systems, providing water purification materials, tents and food packages.

CWS will continue to provide support to partners in Haiti, including the Ecumenical Foundation for Peace and Justice (EFPJ) - whose children's program in Port-Au-Prince will deliver a range of services to children in Carrefour and La Saline - as well as Service Chretien d'Haiti and SKDE, who provide direct services to survivors in of Port-au-Prince. In addition, CWS anticipates partnership efforts with Christian Aid, a fellow member of the ACT Alliance, as we strive to serve the people of Haiti.

How to help

Contributions to support the CWS emergency appeal may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN, 46515. Please designate: Haiti Earthquake, Appeal Number #6762. You can also click here to donate online now.

For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding, please visit www.churchworldservice.org or call the CWS Hotline, (800) 297-1516.

Media Contact:

Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net