Early in the morning of August 14, 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, to the southwest of its capital of Port-au-Prince.

Chalice disaster relief - Haiti earthquake 2021Chalice's Haiti South site, centered around the southern city of Jérémie in the Grand'Anse department, has been severely impacted. Specifically, our sub-sites of Latibolière and Prévilé have sustained extensive damage. Our Haiti North and Saint Dominique sponsor sites were not affected by the earthquake.

Chalice staff in Canada have been able to have some contact with our staff in the affected region. While we are relieved to hear that our staff have personally not suffered injury, the fieldworkers are now locating and communicating with sponsored children and their families. There are 230 sponsored children in Latibolière and 256 in Prévilé. The fieldworkers will assess the families' needs individually and will communicate them with us in Canada as they become known. This process will take some time to be thorough and may be impeded by downed mobile and internet services, as well as weather impacts from Tropical Depression Grace.

So far, the fieldworkers have assessed that 98% of homes in Latibolière and 90% ofHHS0821c homes in The Prévilé are severely damaged. There are also clinics, schools, rectories, a Catholic church, the kindergarten school, and the presbytery that have either collapsed or sustained severe damage. Thankfully, a cafeteria building  that Chalice supporters rebuilt after Hurricane Matthew is undamaged and the parish priest and his team is using it as a temporary shelter.

Prior to the earthquake, our sites in Haiti had been struggling with food insecurity, so food and clean water will be the immediate priority for disaster relief in this region. Our site staff will inform and advise us where the greatest needs are, and how Chalice can complement and augment the wider international relief response. Any medical needs (medicine and/or medical equipment) for sponsored children and their families will be addressed and supported to the greatest extent possible. The site staff has requested tarpaulin to help families cover their homes until the walls and roofs can be repaired.

The Haiti South team is also concerned about children resuming classes as normally as possible in September. Some will need extra support with tuition fees and the site will need to provide tents to act as temporary classrooms.

For long-term restorations, Chalice will prioritize the infrastructure children need to continue their education and maintain their nutrition, rebuilding and re-equipping schools and school cafeterias.

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