Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti earthquake prompts the desire to help, asks the question of how

From Episcopal Life Online-

Whether it is a tsunami overwhelming southeast Asia, hurricanes demolishing the U.S. Gulf Coast, or an earthquake devastating Haiti, many people feel the need to give of themselves to help those who suffer.
The question is how best to do that at each stage of the aftermath and how best to meet the needs of those hurt by the disaster.

As people contemplated how to respond to those needs in the hours since a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook the Port-au-Prince area to its foundation at just before 5 p.m. on Jan. 12, governments and the United Nations began moving bulldozers, cranes and hospital ships into position.

"It's heavy disaster logistics," Robert Radtke, president of Episcopal Relief and Development, told ENS.

Organizations like ERD, the Diocese of Haiti and other international non-governmental organizations typically get involved in the second stage of post-disaster work as recovery efforts begin and they discern how to help local efforts to supply victims with emergency and transition housing, food and clean water for the "medium to long term," Radtke said.

ERD has already disbursed emergency funding to the Diocese of Haiti to help them meet those needs, according to Radtke. ERD "stands ready to support their ongoing recovery as they rebuild their ministries," he added.

Beyond that stage, much of the sustained work is done by faith groups, he added.

"The ministries of the faith communities, including the Episcopal Church, are the ones that endure," Radtke said. "And so when people ask what can they do now -- today -- to help the people of Haiti, the reality is that the most important thing you can do is to give money because money moves quickly."

More here-

No comments: