Haiti (MNN) — As the death toll continues to rise in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Christian humanitarian groups are concerned and optimistic at the same time.
A Haiti government minister says the death toll from the country's devastating earthquake has now topped 150,000 in the capital of Port-au-Prince alone. The minister says there are probably thousands more dead still buried under the rubble in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
Matt Panos with
Food For the Hungry says while the death toll continues to rise, the number of people yet to receive treatment is sobering. "There are roughly 200,000 people injured in this earthquake, and there are facilities for only 1/100th of that amount of people. So, the number of injured that haven't even yet been treated is still much too high."
Panos says, "As a Haitian resident of Port-au-Prince. it would be almost impossible not to have been affected–either someone in your immediate family or extended family that has either been killed or severely injured. Most people have known five, 10 or 15 people who have been killed."
This is one of the worst local natural disasters. Panos says the tsunami of 2004 killed double the number, "but it did it over about 1,000 miles in five countries. This is located in an area that's maybe 50 square miles. So it's amazing–the number of people who have been affected."
Food for the Hungry is focusing on providing, food, water and hygiene kits. But that not all, says Panos. "There was an outcry to God that they had never heard before. So, we're entering, I think, an opportunity not only to share the Gospel, but to live out the Gospel."
Funding is needed to help get supplies into Haiti. Panos is also asking people to pray for the safety of relief workers. "It's still an insecure situation in many places. There are still riots. There are still people banding together to try and rob people of their supplies."
Many people are homeless. "There are a few makeshift areas that are housing 370,000 people, and there are still hundreds of thousands more who do not have any kind of place to go. They're just sleeping outside somewhere," says Panos.