Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Haiti One Year Later

American Red Cross Reflects Upon One-Year Anniversary
of Haitian Earthquake
Donations Made a Real Difference in Lives of Haitians Following 2010 Earthquake
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Burlington, VT – January 10, 2011) — January 12th will mark the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. On both a national and local level, the American Red Cross is taking the opportunity to reflect upon the past year. In our region, the response came in the form of both financial support and the hands-on efforts of Red Cross personnel working on the ground in Haiti.

This past week, the American Red Cross released a one-year report on how the Red Cross has helped hundreds of thousands of Haitian survivors after the January 2010 earthquake. The Report also addresses 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. Since the earthquake on January 12, 2010, 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

“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. “People across Vermont, New Hampshire’s Upper Valley and across the country responded quickly to help Haiti, and these donations have made a real difference in the lives of Haitians,” added Larry Crist, Regional Executive for the Vermont & New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross.

In our region, financial support for the people of Haiti came to the Red Cross in donations ranging from $5.00 to $25,000.00; from children and corporations alike. On an individual level, donations came from people with long histories of philanthropy, as well as the proceeds of piggy banks and countless bake sales. Corporate giving came not just from the businesses themselves, but also through the efforts of employee-led giving.

On the human capital side of the equation, two Red Cross personnel from our region have worked in Haiti. Cristina Hammond of Hanover, NH, who spent time in Haiti this past year, will soon be returning to work on Red Cross cholera response efforts. Hammond has previously volunteered for disaster services work in our region and has, more recently, worked on behalf of the American Red Cross internationally. She serves as an international health delegate for the American Red Cross.

George Sykes, of Lebanon, NH, who has served in both a volunteer and a paid capacity for the Red Cross in our region, has worked in Haiti over the past year and has just returned for another assignment. He is scheduled to be in Port-au-Prince until May, working on warehouse operations. This is in keeping with his prior logistical support work in Haiti.

The one-year report on Red Cross relief and recovery efforts in Haiti can be found at www.redcross.org/haiti. To date, the largest components to American Red Cross aid in Haiti have been shelter, food and emergency services; comprising 56% of the funds expended this past year. Additionally, money has been spent providing clean water and sanitation; health and disease prevention programs; livelihood and host family assistance; and disaster preparedness activities.

Over the next several years, money will go to longer-term recovery, with spending plans likely to evolve to respond to changing needs. The focal point will be the rebuilding of lives, including homes and livelihoods; the vaccination of millions against life-threatening diseases; and rebuilding water supply systems. These efforts will be coordinated with the Haitian government and other aid agencies with whom the American Red Cross has partnered.

“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.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.