[PRESS RELEASE] ShelterBox responds to families devastated by Haiti earthquake
[Photo: Joseph Odelyn/AP/Shutterstock]
ShelterBox is sending a team to the Caribbean region, after a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake and continuing aftershocks rocked Haiti on Saturday 14th August 2021. Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Grace have made the need for emergency shelter even sharper.
Initially the team will be based in neighbouring Dominican Republic.
Buildings have been flattened. At least 80,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed* – that number is still likely to soar in the coming days. Hospitals already under strain from COVID-19 are overwhelmed. Search and rescue efforts have continued through the heavy rain and floods.
Unfortunately over 1,900 lives have been lost so far.
Adding to the disaster, Tropical Storm Grace has dumped more than a foot [up to 38cm] of rain over some of the worst affected areas.
Families faced an impossible choice: shelter in their damaged, dangerous homes, or shelter outside in the pouring rain and flooded streets.
Fears remain that flooding could trigger landslides and mudslides.
Haiti’s civil protection agency urged ‘good neighbours whose space has not been affected’ to help shelter people who’d lost their homes. With low vaccination rates and overstretched hospitals in Haiti, emergency shelter will be vital to give families the space to recover and socially distance.
UNICEF has estimated that 1.2 million people are in desperate need of support.
‘Countless Haitian families who have lost everything due to the earthquake are now living literally with their feet in the water due to the flooding,’ Bruno Maes, a UNICEF representative in Haiti.
In 2010, ShelterBox provided shelter for 28,000 families (140,000 people) – our biggest response to date, outside the long-running conflict in Syria.
The country is extremely politically turbulent, and Saturday’s earthquake comes amid a political crisis in the country following the assassination of its president last month.
*[37,300 homes destroyed, 46,000 damaged]
ShelterBox Australia CEO, Mike Greenslade is available for immediate comment and media interviews related to the 7.2 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in Haiti.
As a provider of emergency shelter after disaster and conflict, ShelterBox has responded to major disasters 5 different times in Haiti in the past, helping families rebuild their lives and livelihoods after disaster. Mike has firsthand experience of responding in Haiti, having deployed there in 2010 following the devastating earthquake.
Please email Mike directly [email protected] or call 0459 959 501.
- ShelterBox has significant experience working in the region. We have worked in Haiti five times including in 2010 after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated the country, when 200,000 people lost their lives and 5 million people lost their homes.
- In 2010, ShelterBox provided shelter for 28,000 families (140,000 people) – our biggest response to date.
- Our most recent response in Haiti was in 2016 following Hurricane Matthew. We worked in Les Cayes which is near to the epicenter of this most recent quake.
- Haiti is extremely politically turbulent, and Saturday’s earthquake comes amid a political crisis in the country following the assassination of its president last month.
ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and other essential items to families who have lost their homes to disasters or conflict. In April 2021, ShelterBox surpassed providing support to two million people since 2000, responding to more than 300 disasters in nearly 100 countries.
ShelterBox responds urgently to earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, hurricanes, cyclones, tsunamis, or conflict by delivering boxes of essential shelter, aid, and other life-saving supplies. Each iconic green ShelterBox contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, a water filtration system, emergency lighting, and other tools for survival. The organisation was nominated for a distinguished Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 and 2019. ShelterBox Australia is based in Parramatta.
To schedule an interview with ShelterBox Australia CEO, Mike Greenslade, please get in touch with Mike on 0459 959 501 or [email protected]