While still recovering from the devastating earthquake of eleven years ago and the impact of the assassination of its president last July, Haiti was hit again with another 7.2 magnitude earthquake on 14 August. On top of that, two days later, rainfall from tropical hurricane Grace caused flooding in the same affected area. The latest reports from Haiti’s Civil Protection speak of 2,200 fatalities and 12,200 injured; 60,000 homes have been destroyed, and more than 77,000 have been affected. According to some projections, these figures are actually much higher. Nearly 800,000 people have been affected, and an estimated 650,000 people in the affected area need urgent humanitarian assistance.
Father General Michael Brehl has appealed for solidarity, and some units and institutions are responding to this call. The superior in Haiti, Fr. Petuel, has visited the affected communities to assess the damage and coordinate the response to this new disaster. In the meantime, the province of San Juan has provided financial assistance to purchase tents, blankets and waterproof clothing. The NGO Acoger y Compartir, for its part, has been making direct contributions in the area and has recently sent a container of non-perishable foodstuffs while campaigning for future projects on the island. Other Redemptorist NGOs have also been coordinating efforts to respond to this call for solidarity.
We continue to pray for Haiti and encourage solidarity in every community with our brothers and sisters, the smallest and most disadvantaged at this time.
Fr. Christian Bueno, C.Ss.R.
Social Pastoral Commission – Justice, Peace and the Integration of Creation (PS – JPIC)