The numbers are staggering: more than 230,000 people killed, hundreds of thousands injured, and 1.3 million left homeless in just minutes on January 12, 2010. In response to this devastation, Direct Relief has provided the largest emergency response in its history, delivering $57 million (wholesale) in medical aid for people injured in and displaced by the earthquake.
That equates to more than 700 tons of aid provided to our partners, who have been treating patients in more than 100 health facilities – from tent camps to large hospitals – many since the first days after the quake struck. These deliveries have been tailored exactly to the needs of healthcare providers and their patients, and were processed through the warehouse we established in Port-au-Prince so that precious time wasn’t wasted sorting through shipments.
To help the many Haitian people suffering devastating injuries and amputations, Direct Relief committed $2 million to support long term rehabilitation including prosthetic and orthotic services. A portion of these funds have helped establish a new rehabilitation center for Healing Hands for Haiti International so that people needing specialized care can regain their mobility. The new two-story clinic provides physical therapy and medical services, houses training rooms for staff, examination rooms, a pharmacy, and administration offices.
Direct Relief has granted more than $500,000 to 22 grassroots groups so they can continue to support and rebuild their communities. These groups include orphanages caring for special needs children to clinics in areas where no other medical care is available. One $20,000 grant has fully outfitted a new operating room for Camejo Polyclinique in Leogane, which was at the epicenter of the quake. The facility’s husband-and-wife physician team treats 60,000 people, about 15 percent of the population.
An extraordinary event has required an extraordinary response, which has been possible thanks to Direct Relief’s relationships with healthcare facilities in Haiti that stretch back 40 years, as well as support from donor corporations, foundations, and individuals. (All Haiti-specified donations are being allocated to Haiti, including interest on accrued funds.)
Together, we have helped tens of thousands of people in Haiti who have faced extremely challenging circumstances over the past year, suffering the loss of their homes and loved ones, living in temporary camps, and facing the threat of cholera.
Much remains to be done. In addition to providing medical aid, Direct Relief is working in collaboration with nongovernmental and governmental agencies in Haiti, including the Ministry of Health, to help support the ongoing recovery effort. While the headlines may have faded, our support continues.