PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Aug. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Action Against Hunger is mounting a response to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit southern Haiti on August 14, 2021, and Tropical Storm Grace, which followed. The deadly combination of disasters has killed more than 1,900, injured countless others and impacted an estimated 1.2 million people, almost half of whom are children. Many need emergency assistance.
"What I am seeing on the ground is alarming and there is an urgent need to save lives. Thousands of homes and buildings, including medical facilities, churches, and schools were destroyed by the earthquake, and now the ruins and remaining buildings are threatened by the tropical storm," said Roseval Supreme, Action Against Hunger's Country Director in Haiti, who is currently helping to assess needs in the affected region.
Action Against Hunger's emergency response will prioritize access to clean water and sanitation to prevent disease outbreaks, and distribution of lifesaving food assistance, hygiene kits, and other supplies for the most vulnerable people. The aid organization will also provide mental health support for community members and frontline workers, many of whom are reliving the trauma they experienced during the 2010 earthquake.
"As a Haitian and a leader of a humanitarian and development organization that has worked in Haiti for more than 35 years, I worry for my fellow citizens," said Supreme. "We have been hit by one crisis after another, and I fear that we are reaching a breaking point. The world cannot turn its back on Haiti."
The country faces tremendous challenges, including 4.4 million people who are struggling with hunger due to inflation, unemployment, political unrest, persistent drought, the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 – and now the impact of another earthquake and storm.
"We know from more than 40 years of experience that helping communities through a disaster isn't just about the immediate response, but long-term recovery efforts," said Dr. Charles E. Owubah, CEO of Action Against Hunger. "We need partnership and support more than ever."
Action Against Hunger seeks to raise $9 million to support 300,000 people with nutrition, water, sanitation, and mental health services in the hardest-hit communities. It was one of the first responders to the 2010 earthquake and has run nutrition, water, and sanitation programs – leading the fight to eradicate cholera – in Haiti since 1985. More than 99 percent of the organization's staff in the country is Haitian.
The organization is featured on prominent lists of charities responding to the earthquake by Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator, as well as by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
About Action Against Hunger
Action Against Hunger is leading a global movement to end hunger in our lifetimes. It innovates solutions, advocates for change, and reaches 25 million people every year with proven hunger prevention and treatment programs. As a nonprofit that works across 50 countries, its 8,300 dedicated staff members partner with communities to address the root causes of hunger, including climate change, conflict, inequity, and emergencies. It strives to create a world free from hunger, for everyone, for good.
SOURCE Action Against Hunger