BY ANNA ARCO
CATHOLIC aid agency Cafod has helped to raise almost £5 million for earthquake-torn Haiti.
Donations to Cafod’s Haiti campaign reached £4.75 million for the island where almost a quarter of a million people lost their lives after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake ripped through the island almost three months ago. The Disaster Emergency Committee – an umbrella group for the disaster response of several British aid charities – has raised over £82 million in total.
Chris Bain, Cafod’s director, said: “As the third-month anniversary approaches the dire suffering and unimaginable hardship that continues to face the Haitian people hits at the heart of the Catholic community, as always they have been overwhelming in their generosity. It has been a wonderful response. The money raised will go to support the lifesaving humanitarian relief effort, distributing food, water, tents and medical help, to the most vulnerable in the worst-affected areas.” Cafod works with Caritas Internationalis, the main arm of the Church’s aid efforts, which has been working with the American Catholic Relief Services in Haiti since the earthquake hit the island on January 12 and devastated the capital. The earthquake displaced 1.3 million people, killed 200,000 people and wounded at least another 200,000 people.
Catholic Relief Services had one of the destroyed hospitals in Port-auPrince up and running within days of the disaster. Caritas runs 12 distribution centres around the ravaged capital of Port-au-Prince, where food, medical help and other forms of aid are given to refugees. The organisation gave out emergency shelter kits to over 12,000 families. The kits contained boards, nails, string and an inner tube of a tyre. Further emergency kits given at a later stage included woollen blankets, mosquito nets and sheets.
The organisation has handed out over 30,000 kits of ready-to-eat food and other food rations in the camps around Port-au-Prince à Léogâne while also supplying another 50,000 families in other regions with rice.
The earthquake destroyed the cathedral in Port-au-Prince and claimed the life of Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince.
The archbishop was hurled from the balcony outside his room while he was waiting for another person on their way to a ceremony.