Haiti Relief Organizations: Updates From The Ground

Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti has caused widespread devastation. Death tolls and injury counts are still not official, but thousands are believed to be dead in the aftermath.

If you want to help, go to HuffPost Impact's Haiti Earthquake Relief page and donate to one of the organizations listed. You can also text HAITI to 90999 to give $10 to the American Red Cross.

Impact is following updates on the ground from nonprofit organizations and others trying to help. Below is a list you can follow for up-to-the-minute information:

Nonprofits On The Ground


Doctors Without Borders is updating their Twitter feed @MSF_USA and asking for continued donations. They report that the MSF treats 2,000 patients in Haiti and aim to increase medical care in the area.

More than 2,000 patients have been treated so far at Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) locations in Port-au-Prince. Teams are now focusing their attention on expanding surgical capacity, as needs are huge. More than 300 patients have been transferred from MSF's Martissant health center to Choscal hospital, a facility in the Cite Soleil district, where they are expected to receive surgery soon. The rest of the medical staff on the ground are still responding to the hundreds of people at their clinics who need immediate first aid and more basic care for their wounds.

Some of the biggest problems at the moment are with basic supplies and with transport access. Food is running very short, water is a major concern. MSF is starting to truck drinkable water to Choscal hospital for the patients and the people nearby.


Action Against Hunger teams on the ground have begun to carry out rapid evaluations across the city, while additional support, equipment, and materials--including water treatment supplies, emergency vehicles, and communications equipment--are en route from Action Against Hunger's bases in Gonaives.

"In addition to ACF's in-country staff, a team has been mobilized to arrive with an initial planeload of emergency stocks from its staging grounds in Paris to supplement efforts on the ground. These stocks include emergency water and sanitation equipment and food aid supplies. Additional shipments of emergency supplies will be sent after rapid assessments are carried out."

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The American Red Cross continues to help in Haiti despite extremely difficult conditions. The American Red Cross sites these difficulties and urges people to donate to their efforts.

The difficulties include damaged transportation and power systems; an unreliable airport tower, which had led to many flights being diverted; and damaged cranes at the capital city's port, which is not expected to reopen until January 18. Some roads are also covered with debris, making travel within the capital city difficult.

Despite these challenges, the American Red Cross has dozens of disaster specialists in Haiti, assessing the damage, addressing urgent needs and establishing the foundation for a long-term recovery operation. These individuals joined the 15-person staff who were already in country, and 12 Red Cross teams from other countries who arrived on Thursday. Among these teams are engineers, surgeons and family linking specialists. These teams will establish field hospitals, restore water and sanitation systems, distribute supplies and restore family links facilities.

Donate to American Red Cross International Response Fund, or you can make a donation by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Donors can designate their gifts to Haiti relief. You can also donate $10 to Haiti relief by texting "HAITI" to 90999.

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Partners in Health has been working in Haiti for over twenty years. Today they posted photos from Hinche Hospital, a hospital three hours away where most injured people are being treated. Hinche Hospital was unharmed by the earthquake. ---------------- 1/15/2010

UNICEF USA has released the following information on other ways to help in Haiti.

If you're in New York City, join us in honoring U.N. workers and thousands of other victims from the earthquake that struck Haiti this week, during a candlelight vigil taking place today, January 15. Click here other ways to help in HaitiClick here to view the event on Facebook. For those of you not able to attend, join us in spirit: Light a virtual candle on Facebook for the victims in Haiti. $5 proceeds go to UNICEF and the relief efforts in Haiti.


Plan USA has released $100,000 in emergency aid and has units in Port-au-Prince and in areas south of the capital.

Roger Yates, Plan Director of disasters and humanitarian response, said: "Of all the countries in the region, Haiti is the most vulnerable . . . . Our priority is assisting children and their families and getting people at risk into safe accommodation wherever possible."

Plan will also be working to help ease the psychological trauma caused by the disaster, as well as ensuring that children are protected throughout the recovery effort.

Donate To Plan USA.


World Concern's disaster response expert Merry Fitzpatrick will leave from SeaTac Airport on Alaska Airlines flight 16 to Miami at 1:15 this afternoon. World Concern's staff is almost entirely composed of Haitian nationals and will be tapping into private as well as U.S. government supplies to help in the relief effort it hopes will soon be supplemented by cargo ships.

World Concern's staff of more than 100 people has already begun responding to urgent needs. During this initial response, we are providing blankets, emergency shelters and supplies of clean water. There is a very high likelihood that existing water systems will be combined with sewage.

Donate to World Concern.


World Vision has more 370 staff in the country. Staff members from less-affected regions of Haiti are mobilizing, and World Vision's global experts are expected to arrive in the disaster zone as soon as possible.

"Downed communications, blocked roads, and continuing aftershocks slowed relief efforts overnight, with staff unable to leave the World Vision's Port-au-Prince office for several hours due to fallen debris in the roadways...Crystal Penner, a World Vision aid worker, was in the central plateau region of Haiti when the quake hit: 'There are relief goods prepositioned in various locations across the country, though the challenge will be getting those supplies swiftly to those in need,' she said."

Donate to World Vision.


With staff already present in Haiti when the earthquake struck Tuesday night, Handicap International was able to respond quickly by releasing $217,657.31 in funding Wednesday and providing support for its team in Haiti, which manages a platform for coordinating interagency humanitarian aid distribution and logistics in the country.

Handicap International will provide care to those injured by the earthquake and its aftershocks, including support to hospitals for essential post-surgery and rehabilitation care, as well as emergency shelter, emergency basic needs and food distribution for at least 5,000 people initially. An emergency response team comprised of at least 10 individuals, both physical therapist and logisticians, will depart for Haiti imminently and will coordinate the distribution of approximately one ton of equipment and emergency supplies.


International Medical Corps' Emergency Response Team is now traveling to Haiti to assist survivors. Their team includes relief experts, including an emergency response team leader, medical officer, logistics officer, and emergency physicians.

"International Medical Corps is prepared to respond to all levels of medical assistance depending on what the most pressing needs are," says Dina Prior, the Team Leader for the response. "Emergency health care will be our primary focus, both in the form of hands-on care and medical supplies and drugs."

News Resources

HaitiFeed.com is publishing the latest videos, tweets, and news resources about the relief efforts in Haiti. You can also follow them on Twitter @HaitiFeed.

•NPR News has compiled a great Twitter list of Haiti updates for those following the story online.

•Haitian TV and radio host Carel Pedre is tweeting with photos and detailing aftershocks near Port-au-Prince.

•Wyclef Jean, one of the most prominent recent proponents of aid to Haiti, is tweeting about the work being done by his organization, Yele Haiti.