Introduction By His Eminence Óscar Andrés Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., Caritas Internationalis President
Half a year after the earthquake in Haiti, the most pressing emergency is over. Our priority in the first months was to get food, sanitation and shelter to hundreds of thousands of people in need. Now, we also need to focus on reconstruction.
Millions have been affected, many have lost family members. Schools, homes and lives need to be rebuilt. It is important not to forget about Haiti now.
Haiti caught the world’s attention after what the UN called the worst disaster it ever confronted in its 65-year-old history. Before, the country and its extreme poverty had been largely forgotten. It is deplorable that it took an earthquake of this scale to make the world see the scandal that was Haiti.
So far, Caritas has helped more than 2.3 million people with shelter, food, healthcare and other emergency needs. I feel very proud of what the Caritas confederation, joining church efforts in Haiti, was able to achieve. We are present not only in and around the capital Port-au-Prince with its many makeshift camps, but also in rural areas. Many people are still dependent on emergency food aid and shelter. [Read about the response of Caritas]
Our Caritas health centres in Haiti for instance are now needed more than ever as many organisations have left, the first emergency being over. Some people need long-term rehabilitation or check-ups for the injuries they suffered from in the earthquake, a lot of others just come for general treatment. It is the first time many Haitian have access to treatment at all.
We now have a chance to build a better Haiti. We cannot avoid other earthquakes and natural disaster in Haiti and in other parts of the world, but we can help the Haitians rebuild. It must be the Haitians themselves who are leading reconstruction efforts. Success depends upon it.
It is not enough to patch the wounds this country has suffered from. This reconstruction should bring new hope to Haiti based on solidarity and justice.
Read how Caritas addresses the five needs in Haiti six months after the earthquake:
|Over the last six months, Caritas provided emergency shelter or temporary homes to almost 160,000 people in Port-au-Prince and in rural areas. Read more…|
||Until today, Caritas has helped more than 1.5 million people with food in Port-au-Prince, Léogâne and its surroundings as well as 9 other dioceses. Read more…|
||Until the end of May, Caritas provided access to water, hygiene kits or sanitation structures to roughly 280,000 people. Around 27,000 hygiene kits were provided. Read more…|
||Caritas child protection staff reach more than 2,000 children with counselling in five locations in Bureau des Mines, Solino and Pétionville Club camps. Read more…|
||Close to 400,000 people have benefitted from Caritas health care programmes so far. These include trauma care, 480 surgeries, and primary care in 21 hospitals and health posts…Read more…|
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