Haiti (MNN) — The death toll from last weekend’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti has reached 2,000. Millions more have lost access to drinking water, shelter, or food.
Maggie Konstanski with World Concern says, “It’s a mix of both urban and rural areas that were hit. Landslides blocked access to certain places. And there’s been significant damage to buildings and infrastructure, such as roads and water systems.”
After the 2010 earthquake, which killed 200,000 Haitians, aid to the country was badly mismanaged. Most funds did not reach Haitians at all and certainly did little to benefit rural infrastructure.
But Konstanki says this time local leaders have stepped up. “While there is quite a bit of instability and uncertainty still, we are encouraged by some of what we’re seeing from those local authorities in the regions where we work. Gang violence continues to be unpredictable. Gratefully, the gangs have declared a truce for the time being to allow aid to be transported from Port-au-Prince to these areas that were affected. We are very grateful for that, and we hope the truce will hold.”
World Concern’s work
Konstanski says this local cooperation is the key to better disaster response in Haiti. World Concern works with organizations that already have a strong presence in the country, and try to source supplies locally. You can support this work here.
World Concern works mostly in the southern peninsula of Haiti where the earthquake hit. Kanstanski says, “We have volunteers and partners in all 203 communal sections in that region in Haiti. These are local people, our team is all local Haitian staff. Many of them were directly affected by the earthquake themselves. They live in these areas. Their families were affected. Some lost homes and experienced minor injuries.”
And pray this aid will embody the unending love of Jesus to many Haitians.
Header photo courtesy of World Concern on Facebook.