On Sat., Aug. 14, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the island of Haiti, causing severe damage to buildings, homes, and infrastructure, injuring 9,900 and killing more than 1,900 inhabitants. Just three days later, Tropical Storm Grace caused a temporary halt to search and rescue efforts with flooding and washed out roads, which triggered mudslides and rockslides.
Compounding the issues, many public buildings that might normally offer shelter during a storm, such as schools and churches, were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake. Classes were scheduled to start Sept. 6 in the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation. Haitians already were struggling with the coronavirus, gang violence, worsening poverty and the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse when the quake hit - not to mention the lasting effects from the major earthquake that hit the country in 2010. The devastation is centered in the country's southwestern area, where health care has reached capacity and is also a strong source of agriculture.
For those looking for vetted organizations that are on the ground leading recovery and relief efforts, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has compiled a list. You'll also find a recording of their most recent coordination call around Haiti (part 1) as well as information on the response efforts to the wildfires consuming parts of the U.S. west coast (part 2). During the call they reminded attendees that cash is the most needed resource, followed by medical and repair supplies, as well as blood, but all donations need to be coordinated to ensure they are truly needed and will reach those impacted by the devastation.
Charity Navigator has also compiled a list of 3 and 4-star rated charities that are providing assistance.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has created a fund to support relief efforts and is also sharing regular updates on the situation.
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