Haiti Earthquake 13th Anniversary: Food For The Poor Steps Up Support Amid Haiti’s Ongoing Strife
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 10, 2023) As Jan. 12 approaches, marking the 13th anniversary of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake strike in Haiti, Food For The Poor (FFTP) remains steadfast in its commitment to the country and its citizens, providing lifesaving aid and support in an increasingly challenging environment.
“While other organizations have made the difficult decision to leave the country, our position is we cannot give up on Haiti or its citizens,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said. “The work to bring stability to Haiti and lift its people out of poverty is ongoing, and we are enormously grateful that our donors continue to embrace our mission.”
In the last three years alone, Haiti has struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic, the assassination of its president, civil unrest, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace in August 2021, gang violence, a fuel shortage, and a resurging cholera outbreak.
Despite these challenges, FFTP team members in Haiti put their safety at risk to distribute aid to people in desperate need of food, water and basic items to survive.
“Our staff remains committed to this mission,” said Mario Nicoleau, Executive Director of FFTP-Haiti. “We have continued to provide much-needed food, housing, medical supplies and more to our beneficiaries. As we say here, ‘sometimes if we don’t work, people die.’ So, there is no way for us to give up on getting food to where it is needed.”
On Dec. 23, FFTP-Haiti found a window of opportunity amid the ongoing gang violence to open its warehouse and safely distribute rice, beans and cooking oil to pregnant women, nursing mothers and infants from the Center of Nutritional Recovery and to beneficiaries of the charity’s Canteen Program. In all, 793 kits were distributed, each containing six pots of rice, two pots of beans and one liter of oil. On the same day, 431 beneficiaries were vaccinated against cholera as part of a vaccination campaign that began on Dec. 19.
In November, FFTP provided lifesaving food and medical supplies to numerous organizations in Haiti to combat a growing number of cholera cases and to address food insecurity. Aid was distributed from the FFTP-Haiti warehouse to 66 organizations in Port-au-Prince, including Hôpital Raoul Pierre Louis, Centre Hospitalier Fontaine Duvivier, Centre Gheskio Bicentenaire, Centre GHESKIO IMIS and Centre Foyer Sainte Camille. Orphanages, churches and humanitarian organizations also received goods.
Among the relief were 70 cases of water purification tablets, 160 cases of Liquid I.V. oral rehydration powder, 1,041 bags of rice, 506 bags of beans, 116 cases of MannaPack rice meals, plus hygiene products and cleaning supplies.
Because of its history of working in Haiti since 1986, FFTP was in place to provide immediate and ongoing assistance when the catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010, at 4:53 p.m. A reported 250,000 people died, including four students and two faculty advisors from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., who were on a Journey of Hope mission with FFTP. An estimated 1.3 million were left homeless.
In the years since the earthquake struck, FFTP has built 11,600 homes and 90 schools in Haiti.
Committed donors are already working to build more homes in Haiti, with a recently completed campaign to build 25 homes, and a new campaign underway to build 40 additional homes. In addition, a campaign to expand and refurbish a school in Haiti recently reached the halfway mark toward its fundraising goal.
“None of the work we have done in Haiti would be possible without our donors,” Raine said. “We wish the 2010 earthquake would have marked a turning point in Haiti’s poverty and despair, but it did not. The people of Haiti need us, and with the continued generosity of our donors, we will be there to help them however we can.”
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.