After the terrible earthquake and tropical storm, it’s time for relief efforts in Haiti
The most vulnerable children must be protected and not left alone
In the aftermath of the terrible earthquake (7.2 on the Richter scale) that once again devastated the Caribbean country, Terre des Hommes Italy immediately began an activity to assess the damage and monitor the conditions of the many children and their families who are beneficiaries of the organization’s projects.
Right in the epicenter of the earthquake, in the area of Les Cayes Jérémie, Terre des Hommes Italy runs projects for the protection of women and minors detained in prisons or placed in foster families, with the aim of improving the conditions of detention and encouraging the reintegration into society of minors in conflict with the law and to offer protection to minors separated from their biological family through the inclusion in foster families.
The staff on the field reached the areas hit by the earthquake with great logistical difficulties. For all rescuers, in fact, this is the first problem to overcome. It is extremely difficult to reach the area because the roads are ruined and destroyed, even the means of the national civil protection are not sufficient and the help of NGOs such as Terre des Hommes Italy is essential to reach the most affected population and to provide logistical support to the state, which does not have all the material and human resources to conduct an initial needs assessment.
Although the prisons where Terre des Hommes Italy operates have not collapsed, the prison of Les Cayes has suffered internal damages that have made necessary both an evacuation of some prisoners and an internal redistribution of some sections as a precautionary measure; it is therefore creating a situation of overcrowding where everything is missing.
The detained minors need food, which was already scarce even before, drinking water, hygienic materials and disinfectants, but also psychological support to cope with the shock caused by this emergency situation.
To have a clear idea of the general situation, it is enough to mention that the water cistern that used to distribute drinking water to the whole area in les Cayes has been completely destroyed and water is distributed in a very precarious and above all discontinuous alternative way.
Most of the houses of about 40 foster families involved in Terre des Hommes Italy projects have been heavily damaged by the quakes, 2 have collapsed and the operations of the staff are not yet finished, there are still about 20 families that need to be reached. Even for them it is essential to have any kind of help to face this dramatic situation: tents, drinking water, food.
“We are in permanent contact with our colleagues on the ground who with extreme difficulty are trying to bring assistance to the Haitian population. The devastation left by the earthquake and tropical storm, which seems not to stop, is a further blow to a country already highly unstable and it has devastatingly affected the area that before the pandemic was the most touristy and internationally known; an important source for the economy of the country. We are committed to bringing immediate assistance and protecting the most vulnerable boys and girls who are most at risk of experiencing violence at this time. Haiti cannot be forgotten, in order to recover the country a great collective effort is necessary, which cannot rely only on the commitment of non-governmental organizations but must involve the whole international community”. The call made by Donatella Vergari, President of Terre des Hommes Italy.
To intervene with immediate relief and protect the most vulnerable children Terre des Hommes Italy has activated a fundraising campaign. You can donate by credit card at this link or by bank transfer to:
Terre des Hommes Italia
Cause: Haiti 2021
For more information and interviews requests please contact:
Anna Bianchi, Press Office Terre des Hommes Italia, firstname.lastname@example.org; +39 3341691927