Prayers for Haiti one month after earthquake
12 February 2010
The Haitian government has declared Friday 12 to Monday 15 February as days of prayers as Haitians remember loved ones on the one month anniversary of a devastating earthquake.
Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Lesley-Anne Knight with Father Serge Chadic, General Director of Caritas Haïti, Archbishop Louis Kebreau, President of the Episcopal Conference of Haiti, and Bishop Pierre Dumas, President of Caritas Haiti at the Vatican Embassy, in Port-au-Prince, on February 10.
At least 230,000 people were killed in the 12 January quake. Half a million people were made homeless, many of whom are now in makeshift camps in Port-au-Prince, and towns such as Carrefour, Gressier and Léogane.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Cleopas Auza, hosted a Caritas meeting Thursday at the Holy See’s Embassy in Port-au-Prince to look at relief operations and longer term challenges such as education, agriculture, reconstruction and preparing for disasters.
“We must help Haitians become self-sufficient. Haiti needs more structured support”, he said. “However, I look to the future with confidence”.
Participating at the meeting were Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Lesley-Anne Knight, Caritas Latin America and Caribbean President Bishop Fernando Bargallo, Caritas organisations from around the world, and Caritas Haiti’s diocesan directors.
Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Lesley-Anne Knight said, “Caritas is committed to not just rebuilding destroyed infrastructure but also to securing the dignity and sustainable development of all Haitians.”
So far, Caritas Haiti and American Caritas member Catholic Relief Services (CRS) have given out emergency shelter kits at Pétionville Club, reaching 35,000 people. A further 10,000 shelter kits have been prepared for distribution this week and 5000 tents from Caritas Austria have arrived.
Caritas has provided over 200,000 people with food, 10,000 people with medical supplies, and over 60,000 people with other essential aid items.
CRS has also distributed UN World Food Programme rice to 198,955 people, and hopes to complete the special distribution within a week, reaching an estimated 257,455 people.
Caritas is providing healthcare in ten sites, plus trained 40 people to deliver promoting public health messages in the camps. The Caritas supported St. Francois de Sales Hospital is performing 20-25 surgeries every day.
Please contact Caritas Communications Officer in Haiti Mathilde Magnier (French/English) on 0033678065736 or firstname.lastname@example.org