Haiti Earthquake

News and Press Release
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Mercy Corps' team has started arriving in the region to respond to the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti earlier this week.

Our team needs your help to speed clean water, food, shelter and other supplies to families in the aftermath of the worst disaster to strike the region in years.

The team represents Mercy Corps' A-team of humanitarian first responders. The group is comprised of eight experts from around the world - coming from Africa, Asia, and North America - who have responded to devastating disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the Sichuan earthquake in China and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.

Mercy Corps will focus first on the immediate humanitarian needs on the ground - for water, food, temporary shelter supplies and much more.

As the most basic needs are met, Mercy Corps' response team will transition from relief to long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts.

We plan to focus on three areas:

Health, clean water, and sanitation

Mercy Corps plans to help survivors access vital clean water and sanitation services, through collaboration with two partners.

Psychosocial support

Mercy Corps is preparing to provide post-trauma help to kids using Comfort for Kids, a counseling methodology developed by Mercy Corps and Bright Horizons, a global workplace childcare provider. Mercy Corps has used Comfort for Kids to help children process post-emergency trauma everywhere from Darfur to New Orleans.

Job creation

Mercy Corps is planning to initiate some form of cash-for-work in Haiti, paying earthquake survivors a daily wage to clear debris, restore buildings and repair basic infrastructure. In post-tsunami Banda Aceh, Indonesia, Mercy Corps employed thousands through cash-for-work, enabling entire communities to rebuild, work together, and have the dignity of earning their own money and getting their economies back on track.

The affected area, home to three million people, has suffered catastrophic damage - eyewitnesses describe the aftermath as "total disaster" and chaos. Haitian government officials are estimating death tolls in the thousands, and thousands more are living in the ruined streets of the country's capital.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is plagued by hunger and political instability. This disaster has drastically increased the needs of families who had little to lose in the first place.