The 2010 Haiti Earthquake struck at the very heart of the country, Port-Au-Prince, leaving a scale of loss and destruction that is hard to imagine. The earthquake tragically killed civilians and government leaders alike. It destroyed Haiti’s government, transport and communication infrastructure, public health system and an already fragile economy. The earthquake shattered a city and crippled a nation.
In the earthquake’s immediate aftermath, emergency relief workers could not quickly get to victims through roads littered with rubble and stacked with corpses. Help could not reach the people who needed it most with no central authority to coordinate relief efforts. Haitians could not get basic necessities with an economy that had ground to a halt. They had nowhere to seek medical care when hospitals had crumbled and doctors and nurses had perished inside them.
This means that rebuilding Haiti is not simply a matter of clearing rubble, paving roads and building homes, a tall order in themselves. It will also require restaffing government positions, training medical professionals and restarting Haiti’s economy.
While the task of rebuilding Haiti seems daunting, it is one shared by millions of Haitians and thousands of aid workers and NGOs from all over the world. Programs like the United Nations’ cash-for-work program can help Haitians build roads and homes while earning a living. NGOs must work together with each other and with Haitians to help the country build a better future and reach their potential.
With this spirit in mind, BLIA Canada has made a CAD100,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross. In addition, BLIA Taipei, working with the Taiwanese government, has donated medical supplies and hygiene kits. We anticipate continuing to partner with other NGOs to support Haiti.