Haiti Earthquake Relief

Emergency Response

Direct Relief will use all contributions designated for the Haiti Earthquake solely for relief and recovery efforts related to the Haiti Earthquake.

Quick Facts

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake originated 7.5 miles northeast of Saint-Louis-du-Sud, Haiti, on Aug. 14, 2021.


Many areas have sustained significant damage, including collapsed buildings and infrastructure, and fatalities are still being assessed.


Medical aid from Direct Relief is staged at hospitals in Haiti. The organization is connecting with health facilities across the island to assess needs, monitor the situation as it evolves, and respond accordingly.

Responding to Immediate Medical Needs in Haiti

Direct Relief has a long history of support to medical facilities and health care partners throughout Haiti, including during the 2010 earthquake and the subsequent recovery efforts that would take place over the next decade. The organization has provided more than $321 million in medical support to health clinics and hospitals over the past decade and long-standing relationships with local organizations providing care in the country allow Direct Relief to rapidly respond.

Current Response to 2021 Haiti Earthquake

Haitians begin the work of recovery in Les Cayes after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake reverberated through the country's western region on August 15, 2021. (Photo by Richard Pierrin/Getty Images)
Haitians begin the work of recovery in Les Cayes after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake reverberated through the country’s western region on August 15, 2021. (Photo by Richard Pierrin/Getty Images)

Direct Relief has staff on the ground in Haiti, as well as firmly established relationships with a number of local partners and with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a regional branch of the World Health Organization.

Emergency medical modules that Direct Relief pre-positioned in the region have been deployed from Port-au-Prince with medical teams to affected areas, to meet the overwhelming need for medical attention. Each module contains significant quantities of the medicines and supplies that Haitian health facilities and doctors are currently requesting: antibiotics, wound care items, and medical outreach packs, among other aid.

Staff from St. Luke's Hospital use emergency medical supplies from Direct Relief to provide medical care to those impacted by the 2021 earthquake. (Courtesy photo)
Staff from St. Luke’s Hospital use emergency medical supplies from Direct Relief to provide medical care to earthquake-impacted communities in Haiti. (Courtesy photo)

Additional Direct Relief emergency medical modules have been routed to Haiti from the organization’s Puerto Rico warehouse and from PAHO’s Panama facility. Seven pallets of PPE, medical relief backpacks, and emergency shelters arrived at St. Boniface Hospital in Fond-des-Blancs from Direct Relief’s Puerto Rico distribution hub, and Direct Relief also provided $250,000 in emergency operational cash support to St. Boniface.

When the earthquake struck, Direct Relief had three ocean freight containers of PPE and other medical supplies already en route to Haiti. These supplies are on their way to the Haiti-based organizations Partners in Health, St. Boniface Hospital, and St. Damien Hospital.

In total, more than 192 pallets-worth of medical aid from Direct Relief totaling $12.8M has arrived recently in Haiti, is en route, or is ready for deployment.

Direct Relief mobilized a FedEx humanitarian emergency MD-11 aid charter of urgently needed medical supplies to Haiti, and the flight included 165 pallets of antibiotics, wound care items, PPE, diagnostic supplies, medical-grade freezers, IV fluids, medical relief packs, and essential medications. Those emergency shipments are being stored at Direct Relief’s Haiti warehouse and distributed by Direct Relief’s Port au Prince-based staff, enabling healthcare providers to continue providing life-saving services to their communities and patients from areas with damaged or destroyed health infrastructure.

Six pallets containing emergency backpacks, tents, and hygiene kits arrived this week in Les Cayes by private charter to the Colorado Haiti Project in Petit-Trou-de-Nippes, located near the earthquake’s epicenter.

Direct Relief is currently coordinating with a coalition of responders, including University of Miami Doctors, Partners in Health, St. Boniface Hospital, St. Luke’s Foundation/St. Damien Hospital, PAHO, and the Haitian Global Health Alliance (GHESKIO), as well as the organization’s own regional staff in Haiti.

Currently, the primary challenge is transporting medical aid on the ground within Haiti. Road closures, landslides, and gang activity make ground transportation treacherous. However, Direct Relief has worked in Haiti for several decades with on-the-ground partners and is working to navigate these obstacles on the ground.

Medical aid for Haiti is staged in Direct Relief's California distribution center, in preparation for a chartered flight to the country. (Direct Relief photo)
Medical aid for Haiti is staged in Direct Relief’s California distribution center, in preparation for a chartered flight to the country. (Direct Relief photo)

Haiti Earthquake Relief

Direct Relief will use all contributions designated for the Haiti Earthquake solely for relief and recovery efforts related to the Haiti Earthquake.

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