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Haiti, One Year Later: A Report from Lutheran World Relief
Baltimore, January 11, 2011 — A
year after the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, Lutheran
World Relief (LWR) continues its long-term efforts to assist
"Thanks to LWR's generous supporters, LWR has raised more
than $7 million for Haiti's long-term recovery," says John Nunes, LWR's
president and CEO. "Because of this support, LWR has committed to
working in Haiti for at least five years to help communities recover and
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, LWR responded to
critical needs in partnership with the ACT (Action by Churches Together)
Alliance and other local partners, providing $1.1 million for food,
water and shelter in and around Port-au-Prince and other heavily
affected areas. LWR also responded by sending Quilts and Kits to Haiti.
Quilts and Kits assembled and donated by congregations across the United
States are a hallmark of LWR's ministry. As of December 2010, LWR had
shipped a total of 77,585 health kits, 35,700 school kits, and 25,545
quilts, 17,500 tarps and 1,500 layettes to Haiti.
Long-term recovery in Haiti has been challenging, with the migration
of approximately 600,000 people from the capital city to rural
communities and with additional crises, like the recent cholera outbreak
and Hurricane Tomas. LWR also supported the ACT response to Hurricane
Tomas and continues to respond to the cholera outbreak. With expertise
and experience in rural development, and a 15-year history working in
rural Haiti, LWR is focusing its long-term rehabilitation efforts on
addressing the endemic poverty that makes communities more vulnerable to
the impact of disasters.
LWR is working with two local partners, World Neighbors and
Partnership for Local Development (PLD), to help strengthen the rural
communities that took in approximately 600,000 people who fled the
capital city of Port-au-Prince after the earthquake.
"These are communities that were already impoverished. Their
resources were already very limited," said Carolyn Barker-Villena, LWR's
senior program manager for Latin America. "Of course they were willing
to take people in and do what they could to help, but it puts a strain
on resources. These rural areas had needs before the quake, and those
needs are even more prominent now. That's what LWR is working to
LWR and partners have provided nutrition, health and hygiene training
to people, including internally displaced persons, and worked to ensure
adequate year-round food supply.
Through cash-for-work programs, LWR and partners are helping people
earn income by repairing roads, improving farms and building latrines
and community water filters. LWR also helped open 12 community stores in
remote areas of Haiti to provide subsidized basic foods, seeds and
other essential supplies to farmers.
In October, after the outbreak of cholera, a potentially fatal
intestinal infection, LWR responded by partnering with IMA World Health
to distribute medical supplies to hospitals and local health centers,
water filters to schools, and oral rehydration salts, soap, and water
treatment tablets to vulnerable populations.
Haiti's recovery will take time, and LWR is committed to walking with
the people of Haiti as they rebuild their lives and pave their path for
"Looking to the future," adds Nunes, "LWR seeks to work with partners
to invest in programs that move beyond disaster relief to tackle the
root causes of poverty and help communities become stronger than they
For more information on LWR's work in Haiti, please visit lwr.org/haiti.