Haiti marks anniversary of devastating earthquake

Tragic event cost lives of 250,000 citizens, displaced up to one million others; Jewish and Israeli organizations remember relief efforts.

haiti rescue earthquake IDF (photo credit: AP)
haiti rescue earthquake IDF
(photo credit: AP)
Haiti on Wednesday will mark the first anniversary of the earthquake that caused untold devastation and destruction to its capital Portau- Prince, taking the lives of approximately 250,000 of its citizens and displacing up to one million others.
Jewish and Israeli organizations summed up their efforts to provide relief to citizens of the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere since tragedy struck.
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IsraAID, an Israeli umbrella group funded by the Jewish Federations of North America, the American Jewish Committee and B'nei B'rith, issued a statement on its emergency operations in Haiti.
“In the first few days following the earthquake, IsraAID with its agency FIRST sent two medical and search and rescue teams to provide immediate relief to the victims, treating thousands of children, women and men every week,” it stated.
“Over the past year IsraAID member teams provided medical assistance to over 15,000 people, thousands more received post-trauma treatment and we distributed tons of relief supplies. IsraAID with its agency Tevel Betzedek opened Child-Friendly Spaces in three different camps in Port-au-Prince and assisted over 5,000 children. A medical clinic currently treats thousands of people each month in Leoganne, three community centers operate south of Port-au-Prince helping the communities to return to normalcy through social programming, and with its agency NISPED microfinance programs take place in Jacmel and more.”
Meanwhile, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) released a report on its projects in Haiti.
“Within days of the earthquake the global Jewish community generously responded to this disaster. One year later, we have helped improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Haitian earthquake survivors,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager.
“Whether we’re getting people walking again at our rehab clinic and prosthetic lab or ensuring educational outlets for Haitian children, we do so inspired by tikkun olam and our unwavering commitment to the potential of every human life.”
Over the past year the JDC has raised $7.7 million which it has used to help 240,000 Haitians, it stated.
In addition, the JDC and its partners have delivered medical services to more than 53,000 Haitians, and aided more than 800 people and fitted more than 70 prosthetics through its state-of-the-art rehabilitation clinic at l’Hôpital de l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti.