A Disaster in Haiti and How You Can Help

Posted by Cheryl Mills
January 13, 2010

More about the crisis and how to help: state.gov/haitiquakeAbout the Author: Cheryl Mills serves as the Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Earlier today, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck Haiti. Reports are still coming in, but it appears that many schools, hospitals and other buildings have collapsed, adding more suffering to an already impoverished nation, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Reports continue to pour in from all over and we are extending all our thoughts and prayers to those who have been affected.

As Secretary Clinton said earlier, the U.S. government will offer assistance to Haiti and others in the region in the form of civilian and military disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

For those interested in helping immediately, simply text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.

Or you can go online to organizations like the Red Cross and Mercy Corps to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts.

The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. You may email inquiries to: Haiti-Earthquake@state.gov. We'll provide more details and opportunities to help as we learn more. To stay up-to-date, follow us on state.gov.

Update:Anyone wishing to donate or provide assistance in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that struck near Port au Prince on Jan 12, 2010, is asked to contact the Center for International Disaster Information.You also can send your message to helphaiti@state.gov. Be certain to include in the subject line "Donation of" followed by the products you are willing to donate. A staffer will share the information with relief and development agencies that have the ability to transport collected items to the affected region and have identified needed goods.How To Help:Clinton Bush Haiti Fund | InterAction | Mercy Corps | Red CrossRelated entry:Information on Earthquake in Haiti

Comments

Comments

Dustan A.
|
Iowa, USA
January 25, 2010

Dustan A. in Iowa writes:

Hi i'm Dustan A. and I'm 18 years old. I'm in 12th grade an N.S. High School and I'm wondering what i can do to help out? As it sits right now I'm trying to talk my school principal into letting me and a few upper class men to travel to Haiti to help out...

Carol L.
|
Indiana, USA
January 25, 2010

Carol J. R. in Indiana writes:

I am interested in joining a medical team as a nurse LPN from Indiana to Haiti. Hubby and I would like to help by taking in a sibling group till parents are found or adopting any children available. We do have a home study done as we adopted two boys in the last five years.
Please get in touch with me as I will go by myself if no response. Thank you

Shahzad C.
|
Pakistan
January 25, 2010

Shahzad A. C. in Pakistan writes:

I want to go Haiti. its my personal desire becouse i was also effected in Earthquack Oct 2005, i want to go to as Volunteer, any One help me in this regards

Sierra B.
|
Ohio, USA
January 25, 2010

Sierra B. in Ohio writes:

my name is sierra, & me & my friend are really wanting to come over & help the haiti people.
we are teenages, but, we wanna work hard. we will work hard. i dont know if there is anyway to actually come over & help. but, we want to. we are very mature. i am wanting to help as much as i can. we live in a small town, & i can get a bunch of people to come over & help. everyone in my school, is wanting to join in & help. we are sorry for the earthquake. if you can tell me anything, please let me know.

Phil M.
|
New Jersey, USA
January 25, 2010

Phil M. in New Jersey writes:

My parents who are US citizens and retired in HAITI have been taking care of a girl since she was 8 yo since her mother was too poor to care for her. Now her mom, and both aunts died in the one-room house they all shared leaving Christelle an orphan. My parents tried to bring her with them this morning but they stopped them at the airport, though Christelle had a valid passport. So Christelle who is now 16 yo is left in Haiti homeless and God knows what will become of her? she had a very good life, went to a great school, had her own room, etc...Now I have no one to care for her, no one...
I tried to adopt her officially 4 years ago, but dropped the case because of the Haitian bureaucracy and too many bad lawyers.
This is so unfair since I could care for Christelle in the US, I have the means since i am a successful engineer. Why wouldn't the americans let my parents take the girl out of this ravaged city? This incomprehensible!

Mi H.
|
Georgia
January 25, 2010

Jean F. in Georgia writes:

Please let me kwno

Roger J.
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 25, 2010

Roger J. in Massachusetts writes:

hi, my is name roger i am haitian, i would like to know what i can do to go in haiti as volunteer. to work wit the orphan kids

Adam M.
|
Kentucky, USA
January 25, 2010

Adam M. in Kentucky writes:

I would love to go and help im trying to find out wat i need to do. about going there to give my help if any one can help me find out how i can get there to give my help plz let me no

Chelsey
|
Oregon, USA
January 25, 2010

Chelsey in Oregon writes:

My husband and I were just starting to pursue being foster parents when this disaster happened, and am wondering if we can be sent info on becoming foster parents to an haitan children. We are all set and ready and speak multiple languages, just in case. Please send me anything that can send us in the right direction to becoming foster parents for these children in such great need.

GOD BLESS!!!
~Chelsey

Luiz K.
|
Florida, USA
January 26, 2010

Luiz S. K. in Florida writes:

My name is Luiz K., I'm 56 years old, Heavy Equipment Operator, Class "A" driver, done work overseas already. Looking for a job in Haiti's cleaning and reconstruction.

Barbara H.
|
New York, USA
January 26, 2010

Barbara H. in New York writes:

I am a certified foster parent and licensed daycare provider. I am interested in providing a foster home for the orphaned in Haiti. How do I accomplish this?

filomena m.
|
New Jersey, USA
January 26, 2010

Flomena M. in New Jersey writes:

We cant help any more then we are doing financally, but would help someone till their town or homes are rebuilt, let me know whats involved.

Debi H.
|
Nebraska, USA
January 26, 2010

Debi H. in Nebraska writes:

My name is Deb, could you let me know what I need to do to get a little one from Haiti? Thank youl
bless bless
Debi

patrick k.
|
Mississippi, USA
January 27, 2010

Patrick K. in Mississippi writes:

my wife and me wish to take in a family from haiti.we are not able to take a child withouttheir mother,please let us know where to help us with this,can afford transportation from miami
please help
pat and maggie k.

Ray V.
|
New Jersey, USA
January 27, 2010

Ray V. in New Jersey writes:

Hello all. I have noticed many of you are inquiring about going to Haiti. My mother, and members of her church ARE going. They need people, nurses, etc. They will be leaving on Feb 15th 2010. Please contact her for more info.
God Bless

Donna G.
|
Tennessee, USA
January 27, 2010

Donna G. in Tennessee writes:

I am a certified foster parent.I am interested in providing a foster home for the orphaned in Haiti.How do i get started.

Moumamadou D.
|
Maryland, USA
January 27, 2010

Moumamadou M. D. in Maryland writes:

I am interested in finding a job in Haiti.

Mouhamadou M. D.

Gerda. m.
|
Massachusetts, USA
January 27, 2010

Gerda C. in Massachusetts writes:

I have my brother leaved in haiti he lost everything he leave in the street with his son 9 years old i want to how can aply for the visa for him .thank you

JEANNETTE P.
|
Florida, USA
January 27, 2010

Jeannette P. in Florida writes:

With the situation in my homeland Haiti I would to like know how to adopt Orphans.
please Help me that question?

vartan a.
January 27, 2010

Vartan A. writes:

hi my name vartan me hepl work or live in usa i love how this pepel help me kaming usa live or work help me me or my family i have waif or 3 beby do u can help me

cathy g.
|
New Jersey, USA
January 27, 2010

Cathy G. in New Jersey writes:

loving family .oldest child just moved out on her own spare room would love to help a foster child from haiti

Jeff
|
Michigan, USA
January 27, 2010

Jeff in Michigan writes:

Good evening, I am interested in going to Haiti to help out as a heavy equipment operator. Who can I speak to about this?

Jairzinho
|
New York, USA
January 27, 2010

Jarizinho in New York writes:

Is there anyone that could help me find out, how can someone in the Air Force Guard volunteer to go to Haiti?

SE M.
|
Illinois, USA
January 27, 2010

Se M. in Illinois writes:

HOW WOULD ONE GO ABOUT STARTING A FOUNDATION FOR ONE SITE ASSISTANCE (IN OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY), TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE, OR INTERMEDIATE HOUSING. ETC. FOR THOSE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BECOME ORPHANS FROM THE EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI,

Maria B.
|
Florida, USA
January 27, 2010

Maria B. in Florida writes:

My family want to expand our family with an orphan from Haiti and want to know what to do next. We have discussed the idea before, but because of what happened, we feel a calling to adopt a child at this point. My husband is from Port-au-Prince and still has several family members there. He has witnessed first hand what these children in Haiti have lived through and wants to help them so much. Please let us know what to do next?

diane t.
|
California, USA
January 27, 2010

Diana T. in California writes:

Hello, my husband and I are the parents of a 5 year old and would like to adopt a child from Haiti, can you please let us know how we can go about doing that? Thank you.

Inga
|
New Jersey, USA
January 27, 2010

Inga in New Jersey writes:

I always wanted to adopt but never knew my country would be Haiti. My heart is burdened with pain of the little ones on the street without food, water of Mommy. I have 2 little kids and can't imagine the pain those kids experience. I started my international home study already. I am ready to adopt and our home and hearts are open for a Haiti orphan.

kootab n.
|
Mauritius
January 27, 2010

Kootab H. N. in Mauritius writes:

may god protects all haitian n i request everyone to pray for their wellbeing

Jeffrey N.
|
Texas, USA
January 27, 2010

Jeffrey N. in Texas writes:

How can you physically go and help in Haiti with the relief and humanitarian needs?? I feel compelled to go and help....

Bahar S.
|
United States
January 27, 2010

Bahar S. in U.S.A. writes:

Haiti’s recovery process is not going to be easy to tackle and will require a lot of effort both from the international community and from local people. It is important not to forget lessons learned from the previous disaster responses and to integrate them into work in Haiti early on. The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) has prepared an interesting note on the World Bank Group Response to the Haiti Earthquake: Evaluative Lessons. The note points out that the situation in Haiti is especially overwhelming because of the breakdown of social order and a fragile security situation, the near-complete loss of governance structures, and the failure to impose even minimum quality standards on the construction industry. Some of the main lessons highlighted in IEG’s note are the following:

• Temporary shelters need to preserve existing social relationships. For instance, the layout of temporary shelter structures can reduce crime and violence against women if care is taken during the relocation process to ensure that as many doors as possible face a common and well-lit area.
• Providing survivors with employment and cash transfers early on has had good results. For instance, taking the time to ensure that all usable building materials are recovered and recycled is a way to ensure that the poor will be able to afford to rebuild. The general population can be helped to recover emotionally through this process with paid work.
• Donor coordination has always proved to be vital. Ways must be found for involved donors to work together or in parallel – in the short term – on a clearly defined set of activities with the same eligibility requirements and benefits.
• Design of disaster projects should be simple, based on local participation and taking into account local capacity.
• Streamlined decision-making and procedures for contracting civil works will help avoid delays. For instance, either a high-powered unit developed for the purpose or existing institutions can provide continuity in planning, coordination, and monitoring.
• Damage assessments need to be simple and tailored to local construction types, with damage awards closely tied to actual costs.
• Post-disaster operations need to include measures to reduce long term vulnerability and deal with land ownership issues. Reaching agreement on mitigation measures with the government within the first three months is important, because it becomes harder to get politicians to focus on disaster once the memory of the emergency recedes.
• Owner-driven housing construction can be more effective than the use of contractors.
• Leveraging existing private sector capacity is critical for effective emergency response. The private sector can play a key role in infrastructure and logistics, local banking, and provision of physical capacity.

To read the full version of the note, please click on the following link: worldbank.org/ieg/haiti.html.

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