Haiti: How Can I Help?
There are many lists of organizations available for making donations to disaster relief in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Yesterday on twitter, Lucy Bernholz (@p2173) asked about the best way to give. As we focus on high impact, here are 4 tips:
- Immediate response. In a disaster, timing is crucial. The sooner you give, the sooner the organizations can help.
- Financial contributions. As opposed to food or clothing, organizations need monetary donations to quickly mobilize the supplies and staff that are available.
- Orgs well-positioned for quick response. Organizations that already have teams in Haiti or have the capacity and experience for fast and efficient disaster relief.
- Orgs that can deliver immediate needs. Search and Rescue, Emergency Medical Care, Clean Water and Food Access, and Communication and Logistics.
We have compiled a small list of a few organizations that are well-positioned to deliver these services in Haiti (thanks to Carol McLaughlin and Katherine Summers for the supporting info from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)):
Orgs that have comprehensive health systems in Haiti, able to immediately mobilize their existing Haiti-based health teams and supplies and care for the critically injured:
- Partners in Health (PIH): PIH is mobilizing its logical team and medical staff of more than 100 doctors and 500 nurses and nursing assistants to respond to the urgent needs of those Port-au-Prince.
- Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS): HAS is currently a major site receiving patients suffering from traumatic injuries from the earthquake. (Note: They also have a facebook Cause to which you can contribute.)
Other relief orgs that are mobilizing needed supplies and staff to Haiti are:
- Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF): Members of Doctors Without Borders are already in Haiti treating the injured. They have four tented hospitals already in operation, and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of an inflatable hospital that is pre-packed with beds, trays, respirators, and essential medicines.
- UNICEF: UN partners and UNICEF are involved mainly with providing supplies to survivors, such as temporary housing, water storage containers and purification tablets, and cooking supplies and food kits.
- Catholic Relief Services (CRS): CRS has food and relief supplies pre-positioned in Haiti. Additional supplies such as plastic sheeting, hygiene kits, mosquito nets, and water purification tablets are being loaded in the Dominican Republic for distribution in Haiti.
- International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): The ICRC and the American Red Cross are mobilizing resources and staff to respond to the earthquake including search and rescue and medical supplies.
In addition to the larger more well known organizations above, Carol McLaughlin, our research director for global public health, has worked with the nonprofit organization Hands Together. For more than 20 years, this organization has worked with the poorest in the shanty towns of the capital Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas in Haiti. Staffed mostly by local Haitians, they run medical clinics, community health workers programs, elementary schools, and clean water projects, in addition to providing disaster response.
You can also send small donations via text, a service provided by mGive, to the following organizations:
- American Red Cross:
- Text the word “Haiti” to 90999
- You will receive a text reply asking to confirm your $10 donation
- Reply with a text with the word “Yes”
- You will receive a Thank You message that your $10 donation has been received that will be charged to your phone bill
- Doctors Without Borders