Caritas was in a good position to provide aid to survivors after the earthquake. Caritas Haiti has been working on emergencies, development and social justice for 35 years. It works through 10 diocesan offices, through staff, parish priests and community volunteers.
In addition to that, Caritas Haiti was well supported on the ground by other Caritas members, with Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a Caritas member in the USA), Secours Catholique (Caritas France), Caritas Switzerland, Cordaid (Caritas Netherlands), and Caritas Spain having had programmes there before the earthquake, and Caritas Dominican Republic being close by to offer assistance.
So far, Caritas has spent close to $46.8 million (€37.4 million) on relief efforts, providing emergency shelter, medical treatment, sanitation and food, but also counselling and protection. Altogether, Caritas aid reached more than 2.3 million people. Among them 1.5 million received food aid and close to 400,000 people benefitted from Caritas healthcare programmes.
In its advocacy initiatives, Caritas works in close cooperation with other NGOs and international organisations. At the UN donor conference in New York on March 31, Caritas supported the position that Haitians must come first in reconstruction and, together with other NGO’s, successfully pressured the G7 governments to cancel Haiti’s US$ 1.2 billion outstanding unilateral debt.
Caritas Haiti is currently developing a rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for the next five years. The Caritas confederation will provide further aid all along this period of reconstruction. Different priority intervention fields have already been identified, mainly shelter, education, disaster risk reduction, health and livelihood recovery.