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How To Help Haiti Recover From This Weekend’s Massive Earthquake

The southern coast of the country was rocked by a 7.2 magnitude quake on Saturday.

by JR Thorpe
Originally Published: 
Haitians walk the street after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on August 15, 2021. Here are places to don...
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On Saturday, Aug. 14, Haiti was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, particularly in the southwest of the country. The death toll rose to 1,300 by Aug. 16, per Reuters, and nearly 6,000 people have been injured. The country is now bracing for the impact of Tropical Storm Grace, which will complicate search and rescue operations.

This is the second massive earthquake in 11 years for Haiti, which was devastated by another powerful quake in 2010 that killed tens of thousands of people. It is also the second major destabilizing event of the year: Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated on July 7 in unclear circumstances.

Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted on Saturday that the United States would “move quickly” to “assess the damage and assist in recovery.” USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, deployed a disaster relief team to help the island on Aug. 15, according to USAID head Samantha Power, while tennis player Naomi Osaka, who is of Haitian descent, tweeted that she’ll donate her winnings from the Western & Southern Open this week to earthquake relief efforts.

Because some international aid organizations’ responses to the 2010 earthquake were criticized for mismanaging funds, Haitians in the country and in diaspora are calling for donations to locally based aid groups. Here’s where you can donate to make the biggest impact on the ground in Haiti.

Health Equity International

Health Equity International provides medical care to people in southern Haiti, an area that was badly hit by the earthquake. Its hospital, St. Boniface, didn’t sustain heavy damage during the quake, and it’s requesting donations to give emergency care to injured survivors. You can donate here.

Zanmi Lasante

Zanmi Lasante, together with Partners In Health, is a medical organization operating across Haiti. It provides training for doctors, support for pregnant people, access to mental health care, cancer screenings, HIV treatment, and a host of other services, particularly for people in poor areas. It is currently mobilizing its outreach and emergency teams to help provide medical care to survivors of the quake. You can donate here.

Doctors Without Borders

The medical NGO Doctors Without Borders has operated in Haiti for 30 years. It has a hospital in Haiti’s Port-à-Piment that was damaged in the earthquake and had to be evacuated. Its emergency teams around Haiti have been working to transport survivors out of remote areas and distribute urgently needed medical supplies. It has a very high trustworthy rating on Charity Navigator, an international ratings system for aid organizations. You can donate here.


Donations to disaster-affected places often arrive on carriers like Airlink, a charity airline organization for disaster relief. Back in 2010, it transported more than 2,000 doctors and nurses to Haiti. Right now, the organization is coordinating logistics with its humanitarian partners to transport critical aid to the island. You can donate here.

Hope For Haiti

Hope for Haiti works across southern Haiti, operating a hospital, 24 community healthcare projects, mobile clinics, and nutrition and teacher training programs. It also funds clean water and infrastructure development in remote areas. The organization has reported a lot of damage to its medical facilities, but it’s prepping emergency kits to support vulnerable families ASAP. You can donate here.

Save The Children

Save The Children is an international NGO focusing on the safety and health of kids worldwide. Leila Bourahla, Save the Children’s Haiti country director, told ReliefWeb that the organization is currently using its emergency stocks to help 250 affected families, give out baby kits, and help with cash transfers. The biggest priority for vulnerable Haitian families, she says, is safe shelter, such as tents. It’s also very highly rated by Charity Navigator. You can donate here.

Ayiti Demen

FOKAL, a grassroots charity based in Southern Haiti run by Ayiti Demen, channels funds to local farmers, women’s organizations, and small local businesses. It’s setting up a relief fund similar to its efforts after 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, hoping to keep business owners out of poverty, support rebuilding, and make sure Haitian voices are prioritized in recovery. You can donate here.

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