Originally published
Appeal Number: #6762

Appeal Amount: $1.2 MILLION

Jan. 15, 2010

SITUATION: 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, the Times reported.

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


An update and recap on the CWS response:

- CWS on Jan. 13 issued a $200,000 appeal (#6762); today this appeal is being expanded to $1.2 million given more information about the CWS response.

- Because of the ongoing challenges of aid getting into Haiti, CWS has determined that it must focus on making the neighboring Dominican Republic the hub for our response, at least for now.

- CWS will work in conjunction with our long-term partner in the DR, Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas, known by the acronym SSID, which will receive and purchase material aid in the capital of Santo Domingo and transport the aid into Haiti from the neighboring DR.

- Partner SSID sent pre-positioned CWS Kits and Blankets from its warehouse in the capital of Santo Domingo to Haiti. CWS plans to send a 40-foot container with CWS Baby Care and Hygiene Kits to the Dominican Republic; the specifics of that shipment will be available next week.

- Among the likely points of response will be to assist Haitians expected to try to enter the DR and the establishment of a storage and distribution center in the Dominican city of Jimani.

- Another response will be for SSID and CWS to mobilize NGOs in the DR which focus on childrens' programs to support equivalent NGOs in Haiti.

- In Haiti, CWS will assist in the full restoration of operational and programmatic capacity of Ecumenical Foundation for Peace and Justice, a CWS partner. The EFPJ children's program in Port Au Prince will deliver a range of services to children in Carrefour and La Saline.

- CWS will help reorganize and expand the network of volunteers trained by Cuban missionaries, from the Cuban Council of Churches, to work with people with disabilities in neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince.

- CWS will assist in restoring the operating capacity of CWS partners Service Chretien dHaiti and SKDE so they can provide direct services to survivors in of Port-au-Prince.

- As part of efforts in which CWS, a member of the ACT Alliance, supports the larger ACT effort in Haiti, CWS is exploring partnership program efforts with Christian Aid in ways that take advantage of our respective interests and capacities.

As mentioned earlier:

- Church World Service is sending funds to local partners in Haiti.

- In its response, CWS will be working with fellow members of the ACT Alliance and local partners in Haiti. The local partners include Service Chretien dHaiti, SKDE and EFPJ.

- Don Tatlock, CWS Latin America and Caribbean program manager, is coordinating CWS efforts in Haiti and the Dominican Republic; Tatlock is in the DR now and expects to travel to Haiti on Saturday, January 16.

- CWS-supported efforts will include the construction of temporary water systems, providin g water purification materials, tents and food packages. Additional efforts will be announced once assessments are completed.

- There is still no further information on EFPJ's House of Hope, a day school CWS supports in Port au Prince. Preliminary information indicates the school building was damaged. Christian Aid colleagues report their office was severely damaged.

- Church World Service is pressing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and members of Congress to grant Temporary Protected Status to Haitians, allowing them to remain in the United States for at least 18 months as part of a comprehensive response to the current humanitarian crisis.

- Through the CWS Speak Out and a Refugee Council USA members letter, CWS notes that Haiti*s current circumstances fall well within the criteria for granting TPS, since it may be granted when requested by a foreign state that temporarily cannot handle the return (e.g. by deportation) of nationals due to an environmental disaster. TPS has been granted in similar situations to nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua after Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and to Salvadorans after an earthquake in 2001.

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.

Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.

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.

CWS Emergency Response Program special contacts: (212) 870-3151

Program Director: dderr@churchworldservice.org