Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Help for Haiti

Catholic News Service has a blog posting on the situation in Haiti, now more than two years after it was struck by a powerful earthquake:
. . . More than 316,000 people died; an estimated 500,000 people — a third of the original 1.5 million people left homeless — remain in tattered shelters in hundreds of settlements in and around the capital of Port-au-Prince.

While a sizable amount of rubble from collapsed buildings has been removed, the capital still bears signs of the destruction with structures askew and little reconstruction in place. The collapsed National Palace, which housed the offices of the president, still sits silently across from Champs de Mars Park, where 20,000 people remain camped. The scene serves as a stark reminder of the perilous struggle Haiti faces.

Aid workers and other observers find any progress distressingly slow. About $2.4 billion of the $4.5 billion pledged by the world’s governments meeting in New York two months after the quake has been received, the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti reported. Even less actually has been spent.

To learn more, go here.

What, you might ask, have Catholics been doing to help?
Catholic Relief Services reports that it has:
- Built 10,600 transitional shelters

- Provided 10 million meals to more than 1 million people

- Organized medical teams that performed more than 1,000 emergency surgeries and conducted 71,000 outpatient consultations

- Helped workers crush enough rubble to fill almost 1,800 dump trucks

- Hired more than 12,000 people in temporary cash-for-work programs

To learn what you can do, go here.

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