YMCA Haiti responds to two devastating natural disasters

Date: 19 August 2021

A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.2 struck the southern peninsula of Haiti on 14 August 2021, and hurricane Grace devastated what was left two days after. YMCA Haiti is severely affected, but despite the trauma and the damage, it has stepped up to support local communities.

The latest provisional death toll is 1,400 people, with more than 5,700 people injured, nearly 30,000 homes destroyed, and massive damage done to schools, churches, hotels, and businesses.

Three Departments were hit hardest by the two tragedies: South, Nippes, and Grand ‘Anse, with a total population of nearly 2 million inhabitants. Two YMCA infrastructures in Camp-Perrin where destroyed. The school where they were going to start a kindergarten in September is structurally cracked and unstable. The YMCA Community Center has also collapsed, and most of the furniture, equipment, books and computers have been destroyed.

A damaged building in Les Cayes, Haiti, on Monday, August 16, 2021. The U.S. deployed search and rescue teams to help find survivors among the debris of collapsed buildings in Haiti, as the death toll soared from the previous Saturday’s massive earthquake. Photographer: Jonathan Alpeyrie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

YMCA Haiti has launched a three-step response

The aim is

  • to provide assistance and support in the short term to the affected population in Camp-Perrin
  • to rebuild the YMCA Community Center in Camp-Perrin
  • to provide psychological support to those in need. 

Emergency appeal to support YMCA Haiti

The YMCA Haiti team urgently needs funds to reach out to 5000 affected people in Camp Perrin. They will collect and distribute first aid items such as cloth masks, gloves, alcohol, hydro-alcohol gel, soaps, tarps, tents, mattresses, sheets, wool blankets and clothing items, women’s hygiene items, solar lamps, torches and batteries. They also aim to provide dry food rations, food kits and drinking water.

Donate to YMCA Haiti

Learning from the past

In 2010, YMCA Haiti led a very successful container project to distribute food and clothing to the victims of the earthquake which devastated Port-au-Prince and its surroundings. This project was funded by the Wells Mountain Foundation, the World Alliance of YMCAs, the Latin America and the Caribbean Alliance of YMCAs, and other YMCA partners. The containers received were converted into new community centres which still serve communities today. This prior experience gives YMCA Haiti the capacity to manage emergencies and to come now to the aid of the victims of the August 2021 earthquake and storm.

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