Haiti was devastated by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on 12 January 2010. Around 200,000 people were killed and overall three million Haitians were affected. The IHH dispatched a group of relief workers to Haiti to join emergency aid works right after the quake occurred.
IHH coordinator in Haiti Recep Güzel wrote about the recent situation of the country: “Haiti was devastated in the earthquake and its recovery seems unlikely. The country had severe poverty even before the quake. People whose homes were destructed are living in tents patched up from clothe pieces. Haiti is in rainy season. Even worse the hurricane season is drawing nearer. June is when hurricanes hit. The situation might get worse then. Affected people are living in 2-3,000 person camps. These are not well-built camps. Residents are actually staying in tents made from pieces of clothe. The health problem is deteriorating. There are enough doctors but medication supplies are low. Many aid agencies had to send back their physicians because of lack of medication. Epidemic of diarrhea has broken out among children. It is very difficult to find antibiotics.”
52 orphans cared for locally, another 64 to be brought to Turkey
Güzel noted that food deliveries that were initiated immediately after the quake were still ongoing. Daily hot food is distributed to 1,500 Haitians and all expenses of 200 students, including teaching and security expenses, are met by the foundation. As for other IHH activities in Haiti he said: “I went to Haiti twice and stayed there for 45 days. Our second visit was for orphan activities. We had some problems during our first visit but at the second visit we got the chance to explain our objectives and activities to authorities better. Following talks with relevant state bodies we took on the responsibility of 52 orphans. We will be looking after these orphans in Haiti through foundation’s sponsor family program. We have initiated official formalities to bring another 64 orphans to Turkey. The authorities have promised to grant permission and as soon as they do we will bring these orphans to Turkey.”
10 acres allocated for school, orphanage
Güzel stated that the IHH is planning to carry out permanent projects in Haiti beside aid delivery and has launched preparations for the construction of a school and an orphanage. An area of 10 acres has been allocated to the foundation for the school and orphanage and work will begin soon, he noted. Güzel added that five Haitian students would be brought to Turkey for university education and the number would be raised if enough scholarship is secured.