On Saturday, August 14, 2021, a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck southwest Haiti. Over 1,400 people were killed, and that number is expected to increase as search-and-rescue efforts continue. Blocked roads are delaying the delivery of vital supplies to hospitals, which are overwhelmed with more than 6,900 injured people. At least 26,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, but the full extent of damage is still unknown. Haiti is also suffering through a political crisis and was hit by Tropical Storm Grace on Monday night, which caused severe flooding in communities already damaged by the earthquake.
For over two decades, the ELCA has maintained a presence in southern Haiti through support for agricultural and sustainable development work. To continue our engagement with those communities, Lutheran Disaster Response is collaborating with partner organizations in the communities to meet relief needs, including food, water, medical supplies and temporary shelter. In the future, other areas of support will include psychosocial care, water and sanitation, and creating sustainable livelihoods through agriculture and livestock. We also stand with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Haiti as it assesses damage and impacts on churches and church life.
Together, as church, we can be there for our neighbors in Haiti.