The American Red Cross has released a one-year report on how the Red Cross has helped hundreds of thousands of Haitian survivors after the January 2010 earthquake, what has been done to respond to new issues such as the cholera outbreak, and plans for the years ahead to support Haiti's recovery.
"Thanks to the generous contributions of so many donors, people in Haiti are receiving immediate relief and resources, as well as the necessary support and training to help them recover and rebuild," said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. "Red Cross efforts saved lives and improved the quality of life for Haitians with emergency shelter, food, water, latrines, medical treatment and other supplies."
"People on Long island and across the country responded quickly to help Haiti, and these donations have made a real difference in the lives of Haitians," said Frank Cassano, CEO of the American Red Cross in Nassau County.
Since the earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, the American Red Cross has raised approximately $479 million for the Haiti relief and recovery efforts, including more than $32 million from the record-setting text donation program.
Local efforts ranged from school children collecting donations to businesses asking customers and employees to help—and despite a depressed economy, nearly $4 million was raised by Long Islanders alone.
Bellmore residents and students also pitched in to make a difference in the lives of those effected from the earthquake.
After collecting boxes of items donated from the community, Dr. Michael Schonfeld, a chiropractor from Allied Medical & Rehabilitation in Bellmore, and a group of chiropractors headed down to Haiti in February of last year for a week-long relief effort. Schonfeld and his group visited a hospital, utilizing their hands, tools and knowledge to help the sick.
The students at Shore Road Intermediate Center did their part to help the ailing country. Two sixth-grade classes by selling t-shirts which they will tie-dyed themselves.
Also, Mepham and Kennedy students teamed up with the Bellmore Kiwanis by collecting more than 50 boxes of food, clothes and medical supplies to donate to Haiti.
The one-year report on Red Cross relief and recovery efforts in Haiti can be found at www.redcross.org/haiti.
Since the earthquake, the American Red Cross and the global Red Cross network have provided:
- Medical care for nearly 217,000 patients
- Cash grants and loans to help 220,000 people
- Latrines for 265,000 people
- Daily drinking water for more than 317,000 people
- Emergency shelter materials for more than 860,000 people
- Vaccinations for nearly 1 million people
- Food for 1.3 million people for one month
At the one-year anniversary of the earthquake, the Red Cross expects to have spent and signed agreements to spend $245 million, which is more than half of what has been raised. Specifically, 30 percent of the money will have been spent on emergency shelter and basic homes; 26 percent on food and emergency services; 15 percent on providing clean water and sanitation; 13 percent on health and disease prevention programs; 10 percent on livelihoods and host family assistance; and 6 percent on disaster preparedness activities.
The remainder of the money will go to longer-term recovery over the next several years, with spending plans likely to evolve to respond to changing needs.
In addition to responding to the earthquake and its aftermath, the Red Cross worked to provide help following the cholera outbreak last fall. The American Red Cross has spent more than $4.5 million and plans to spend at least another $10 million to fight the spread of cholera.
One of the big challenges facing the Red Cross and other non-profit organizations is finding land to get people out of camps and into transitional homes. It has been difficult for the Haitian government to determine exactly who owns the land where these homes would be built. Much of the available land is covered with tons of rubble that must be removed, and there is not enough heavy equipment in Haiti to do this quickly. In addition, the government, which would take a lead role on much of the land ownership and rubble removal, was severely affected by the earthquake.
Overall, the American Red Cross expects to spend about $100 million of the remaining funds on construction of permanent homes and community development projects. These efforts, which will unfold over the next few years, will depend on several outside factors including the availability of appropriate land and the coordination of infrastructure, livelihoods and community centers.
"The Red Cross will continue to spend the money entrusted to us by the American people in the most responsible way possible to help Haiti and its people," McGovern said.