The humanitarian organization is working with local authorities to support thousands of people affected by Saturday’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
Over 1,900 people have been killed, with the death toll expected to rise as the search for survivors continues.
The earthquake has resulted in major damage to critical infrastructure, including roads, health facilities, and schools as well as widespread damage to people’s homes. Hospitals are currently overwhelmed with 6,975 people seriously injured by the earthquake. The devastation has left thousands homeless with over 84,000 homes completely destroyed or damaged.
Bernard McCaul, GOAL’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “Haiti is in the midst of hurricane season so it’s critical that we can shelter families left homeless by the earthquake as soon as possible.”
Mr. McCaul continued: “Local infrastructure has been decimated by the earthquake. Our top priority right now is ensuring people have access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation, shelter, and food in order to prevent further suffering by the victims of this tragedy.”
Mary Van Lieshout, GOAL’s Deputy CEO and Director of External Affairs said: “This could not have come at a worse time for the people of Haiti, already struggling with the impact of Covid-19, political insecurity, and growing poverty.”
Ms. Van Lieshout concluded: “These first few days are critical. GOAL teams are racing against the clock to get lifesaving support to those affected. Ireland has always been there for the people of Haiti – local communities need our support now more than ever.”
Notes to the editor
GOAL has been operational in Haiti since 2010 following a large-scale response to a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. GOAL currently has over 60 staff in Haiti, stationed across three regional areas.
GOAL works in partnership with a number of local partners and groups in Haiti, ensuring local decision-making and engagement. GOAL’s work in Haiti focuses on WASH (water, sanitation and health), nutrition, financial literacy, and livelihoods.
GOAL maintains its Emergency Preparedness capacity in Haiti to ensure the ability to respond to sudden shocks (earthquakes, storms, flooding). In 2020, GOAL began Blue Economy programming, supporting local communities to develop their livelihoods through greater and more sustainable fishery and ocean related livelihood activities.