Haiti Earthquake Relief and Recovery

When a devastating earthquake in Haiti claimed a quarter of a million lives and left millions more injured and homeless, Direct Relief — backed by generous support from individuals, foundations, and businesses — mobilized the most comprehensive humanitarian response in its history.

More than 25,000 donors came together to provide a total of $7,050,000 to Direct Relief for people in Haiti to rebuild their lives.

Direct Relief understands that these donations were made with the sole intention of assisting people in Haiti.  In accepting donations for Haiti, Direct Relief recognizes that both donors and people in Haiti — for whose benefit the contributions were made — deserve to know, in detail, how Direct Relief has used their donations.

Continue reading to learn how Direct Relief — now among Haiti’s largest sources of charitable medical material aid — has worked to help people in Haiti receive the care they need to live happier, healthier lives.

Financial Summary: Haiti Earthquake

As of February 2015, Direct Relief used 100 percent of Haiti-designated donations exclusively to help people affected by the earthquake in Haiti.

How Were Donations Spent?

The $7.05 million received for Haiti-earthquake relief efforts were spent on the following activities:

  • $1.8 million to support – in the form of financial grants to organizations and health facilities in Haiti — critically needed services to help rebuild or expanding health services in earthquake-affected regions. This includes a $900,000 grant to Healing Hands for Haiti, which enabled them to fit more than 1,000 patients who suffered severe injuries from the earthquake with prosthesis and provide them with long-term rehabilitation care in a newly-built, state-of-the-art rehabilitation hospital. Healing Hands for Haiti is now training more Haitians to become rehabilitation nurses and prosthetists so that future generations of people with disabilities can be properly cared for.
  • $6.2 million to mobilize, procure, warehouse, and deliver more than 1,700 tons of life-saving medical resources valued at more than $155 million (wholesale) to 186 community-based health facilities throughout the country (using a state-of-the-art, commercial-grade IT backbone, Direct Relief created the only charitable online ordering platform for Haitian healthcare providers to efficiently order and receive medications and supplies at no cost to them.)
  • $614,938 to purchase urgently needed, specialized medical equipment and supplies requested by Haiti-based facilities and medical professionals.

Examples of Impact

  • Restoring sight: More than 500 people with cataracts have the ability to see again, enabling them to work and care for their families as a result of the $5 million worth of state-of-the-art eye equipment and medications donated by Alcon Labs.
  • Fighting choleraThe IV fluids, oral re-hydration therapy, and IV tubing donated by Baxter, Hospira, Abbott, and BD have treated more than 150,000 people, or about one-fifth of the population affected by cholera. These items have been stored in Direct Relief’s in-country depot and are rapidly deployed within hours of a cholera outbreak and have served patients in every section of the country.
  • Protecting mothers and children during childbirth: The provision of equipment and supplies to six maternity hospitals throughout Haiti have allowed for more than 500 cesarean sections and more than 2,000 safe deliveries since the program began in August. Over the course of the next three years, more than 15,000 women will feel safe giving birth where Direct Relief has provided these upgrades.
  • Preparing for emergencies: At the onset of hurricane season each year, Direct Relief prepositions specifically-designed emergency medical modules throughout Haiti. During emergencies — including cholera outbreaks and Hurricane Sandy, which devastated Haiti in 2012 — more than 40,000 people have been treated with the medications and supplies contained in the modules.

The Way Forward

More and better health services are available now to people in Haiti than before the earthquake. Challenges persist and progress is measured, but the unwavering support from people and companies has allowed Direct Relief to build and equip new surgical facilities, ensure rehabilitation services are available to people around the clock, and give hospitals and clinics across the country access to medicine and medical supplies that can be ordered online at any time for no cost.

In addition to continuing to get the right medicines in the right hands, broadening access to rehabilitative services, bolstering emergency preparedness, and fighting acute and chronic diseases like cholera and diabetes, Direct Relief is engaged in safe-motherhood interventions to protect mothers and children during childbirth.

Haiti has the highest prevalence of maternal mortality and infant mortality in the Western Hemisphere. Pregnancy and its complications have become the leading cause of death and disability among mothers, and 70 out of 1,000 babies die during their first year.

Direct Relief’s interventions include expanding access to safe deliveries by training and equipping traditional birth attendants and midwives, addressing complications in birth with emergency obstetric care, and enrolling mothers into the Prevention of Maternal-to-Child Transmission of HIV program. By targeting eight health centers strategically located in eight of the ten departments (or states) in Haiti, Direct Relief will reach a population of 563,000, including approximately 60,000 pregnant women.

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