I am utterly dismayed by the news of the 7.0 earthquake to strike Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, last night. In a country where 85% of the population already lives in poverty, infrastructure is almost non-existent, and the government is perpetually unstable, this earthquake’s effects will reach farther than we are even yet imagining. Information out of Haiti has been slow-coming and, when the dust settles and TV crews can get footage out, I believe we will discover a major city of 2 million, just a short flight from Florida’s coast, has been totally destroyed.
I spent just a short week in Haiti in 2004 as part of a disaster assessment following Hurricane Jeanne. While I have not returned my husband, Steve (MD, MPH), has since traveled multiple times to Haiti to participate in the community health work of Haiti Foundation of Hope. HFH works in an area north of Port-au-Prince that, as far as we know, has not been heavily damaged by the earthquake. However the founders of HFH, Dr. Joe and Linda Markee, are leaving later this week for Port-au-Prince in cooperation with Medical Teams International to see how the two organizations can help at the heart of the disaster.
If you are looking for a way you can help, I strongly urge you to GIVE GENEROUSLY to Haiti Foundation of Hope. With Dr. Joe and Linda on the ground right away they will be able to assess the best way to use the funds given to meet immediate needs of those affected by this disaster.
Please also PRAY. HFH still has not heard from its in-country contacts, Pastor Delamy Bazilme and his wife Elvi. They live in Port-au-Prince so naturally we are all concerned. Assuming they are healthy and well, the first place they will be is out helping their neighbors and so prayer for their continued safety is essential. As a nation Haiti was already so desperately in need of miracles. That need is only now exacerbated.