Canadian Emergency Aid Already Making an Impact in Haiti

September 24, 2021

Donations still needed by IDRF to continue relief efforts and help more people in need

TORONTO, September 17, 2021 – People in Haiti whose homes, livelihoods, and community infrastructure were badly damaged or destroyed by a major 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on August 14 are beginning to receive emergency aid in the form of food and hygiene kits from Canada’s International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF). IDRF’s emergency campaign targets women and girls first as they are disproportionately affected by natural disasters.

IDRF’s goal is to alleviate suffering caused by the earthquake by providing hygiene and food products for affected families. The emergency food kit provides 3 meals a day for a family for over one month.

Since a key to sustainable disaster management is thinking long term, IDRF is also working towards creating sustainable water purification units to permanently provide affected communities with access to safe drinking water. Providing instant emergency aid is not enough; humanitarian and development sectors must work together to create sustainable solutions that will withstand future natural disasters and improve quality of life.

Prior to the earthquake, Haitians were already dealing with numerous challenges including Tropical Storm Grace that hit 48 hours before the earthquake, and the ongoing health concerns related to Covid-19. The earthquake also occurred during a fragile time politically as the prime minister was assassinated in July. The fragile socio-political situation makes working with local partners a key to administering impactful aid that reaches the people who need it most. IDRF has previously worked in Haiti and has a long history with local partners that are familiar with methods of disaster management.

By working with local partners, IDRF can effectively access internally displaced people and ensure that emergency aid reaches them quickly, as it is doing in Haiti. A study conducted by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster Management (AHA Centre) in July 2021 found that benefits from working with local partners are amplified by the pandemic which limits travel by international personnel and makes them unable to reach displaced people. The study concluded that “humanitarian action should be as local as possible and as international as necessary”. Throughout the world, IDRF has always utilized local partners to carry out aid programming, while also incorporating local knowledge on disaster management and mitigation to assist the victims.

“We responded with aid as quickly as we could to address the immediate needs in Haiti following the earthquake, but given the scale of this disaster, our team is continuing to provide relief so that no one is left behind,” said Nabil Ali, IDRF’s Director of Programs about the charity’s emergency relief rollout.  “With so many damaged healthcare centres struggling to provide critical support to the population – particularly women and girls — our goal as an organization is to meet their needs and mitigate potential risks. We know what can happen when the needs of the most vulnerable are not met, so I urge our community not to forget about Haiti. There are so many people in desperate need of our support.”

Money donated to the IDRF Haiti Earthquake Relief campaign is not subject to any administrative fees or costs, ensuring that every dollar reaches Haitian victims. All donations will receive a tax receipt. To donate please go to: Haiti Earthquake Relief.

About IDRF:
IDRF is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to empowering disadvantaged people in Canada and around the world. Founded in 1984, IDRF has an enviable reputation as one of Canada’s best-run charities and has been recognized by third-party organizations such as the Financial Post and MoneySense for its effectiveness, efficiency, and results.  Find out more about IDRF’s work in its Annual Report, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram  and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:
Jey Pakeerathan: Media, PR, and Government Relations Coordinator at IDRF
Mobile: 226-456-0038
Email: jpakeerathan@idrf.ca