This morning I woke early here in Seattle, my phone exploding with pings and dings and whistles, with countless folks sharing that southern Haiti was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake at approximately 8:30 am Eastern time, this morning, 14 August. As of now, almost 10 hours later, the death toll stands at 306, with 1800 injured. These numbers will surely increase.
Our staff and facilities in the central plateau were not directly affected by the earthquake, as the epicenter was much further south than us. However, Haiti is a small nation and what affects one, affects all. I have been on the phone all day with partners and colleagues, throughout Haiti and the US, and we are finalizing a response plan with those at ground zero, listening to our friends’ needs.
After all, in the midst of crisis and uncertainly mothers continue to labor, and babies continue to be born. Our mission is to reduce the maternal mortality rate in all of Haiti, not just in our neighborhood, and we will always do whatever that takes. While chaos rages all around, our job is to provide that stillness, that sacred peace, into which each and every baby deserves to be born, regardless of the circumstances of their birth. We also support others who share our mission, with expertise and compassion.
This disaster, as you well know as a friend of MFH, comes just 5 weeks after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, and just a few months after Haiti was inundated by Covid-19 cases. The instability has led to an economic rupture, and travel was already almost impossible due to fuel shortages and gang violence. We keep waiting for a break, but our resilience continues to be tested.
The road back after any natural disaster is long and winding. There are months, perhaps years of rebuilding ahead. But with your help, we can do this.
In the immediate aftermath of any natural disaster, the most loving thing you can do is donate financially. Shipping and other supply chain logistics are disrupted, and will be for the foreseeable future. Getting goods and medications into Haiti is going to become even more difficult than it is now. Travel will be almost impossible between cities. Organizations on the ground need purchasing power, and staff still need to be paid.
Your support is now more vital than ever. Please give generously at www.midwivesforhaiti.org/donate, or use our “Donate” button on Facebook at Midwives for Haiti | Facebook, or you can send a check to:
Midwives for Haiti
7130 Glen Forest Dr.,
Suite 101Richmond, VA 23226
I’ve always said that when things are at their worst, the Midwives for Haiti family is at its best. You have stood with us night and day, when things are dark, and when the light shines. Thank you in advance for your help during this tempest.