Haiti: One Year After the Quake

January 12th, 2011 by Amanda Nolan


While the world was still reveling in the new year, Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, was struck by a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that happened west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and the surrounding areas on January 12, 2010. At least 52 aftershocks were recorded within the following weeks, leaving approximately three million people affected by the disaster and over 230,000 fatalities. The earthquake also caused major damage to the structure of Haiti – many significant landmarks and buildings were destroyed, including the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly building, the Port-au-Prince cathedral and the main jail.

In reaction of this disaster, many countries responded to appeals for humanitarian aid and relief by pledging funds, sending rescue and medical teams, as well as engineers and support personnel. Wanting to be a leader on the fundraising efforts on the Loyola University campus, WLOY also sprung to action to help Haiti. Thanks to BaltimoreACTS! and the Baltimore Community Foundation, WLOY was able to obtain a matching donation to all fundraising procured. We raised $11,000 in just a few short weeks on campus and The Aber D. Unger Foundation provided a 100% match of our fundraising efforts, awarding $22,000 to Catholic Relief Services for their efforts!

One year later, Haiti is still recovering. In October and November of 2010, Haiti was affected by Hurricane Tomas and an outbreak of cholera. Currently, relief and recovery are at a standstill due to inaction from the government and indecision from the donor countries.

However, the outlook is not all bleak. With the generosity of all those who gave, the relief groups were able to feed more than one million Haitians, provide shelter to more than 250,000 people, conduct almost 70,000 outpatient hospital consultations, provide more than 10,000 people with short-term employment and offer protection and education to thousands of vulnerable and scared children.

There is still more to be done to help the millions of people affected by this depredating disaster. If you would like to donate to Catholic Relief Services, you may do so here.

WLOY produced a special show last year to start getting information out to the campus. WLOY, CCSJ and Catholic Relief Services all participated.

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