January 12 marks the seventh anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti that caused so much death and suffering for people who were already living in extreme poverty. Lutheran World Relief had already been working in Haiti, but we increased our presence in the aftermath of the disaster. Each year since the earthquake, we’ve marked this day by looking back on what your generous donations have enabled us to accomplish. In that spirit, we offer Haiti by the Numbers: A Partnership of Recovery and Progress.
This seventh commemoration will be our final update on our earthquake response. In the Bible, the number 7 connotes that something is complete or finished, such as seventh day of creation in Genesis. Our work in Haiti is not finished, but it has transitioned to long-term programs focused on economic development and climate change adaptation for poor farmers living in the northwest region of Haiti. Haiti by the Numbers reflects that larger scope of work that LWR has carried out since 2010.
Sadly, Haiti was badly hit this past October by Hurricane Matthew, which destroyed houses and crops of farm families. LWR has embarked on a relief and livelihood recovery response in both the northwest and the hard-hit southern region of Haiti, supporting families through seed, fertilizer and tool distribution to replant damaged and destroyed fields, and replacing lost fishing equipment. Cash-for-work opportunities will provide access to sorely needed cash.
LWR will continue working in Haiti as we strive to provide lasting solutions to poverty, injustice and human suffering. We are continually inspired by the resilience of the Haitian people in the face of these tremendous challenges.