Haiti: One Year Later
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Haiti: One Year Later

Following the first anniversary of Haiti's earthquake, the American Red Cross updates donors on the progress on the ground

When Grand Circle Foundation delivered a $545,603 donation to the American Red Cross on behalf of Haitian earthquake victims, Alan and Harriet felt it was important to update the 4,239 contributing donors on how our gift is making a difference. To this end, we're sharing some excerpts from the Red Cross's One-Year Executive Summary, which we received on January 13.

The Red Cross has raised $479 million for Haiti, and committed to spend $245 million in the first year—which is more than half of the total raised. As Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern writes in the report, "the pace of change is slow; however, I continue to be inspired by the Haitian people. I want to assure you that we will not lose sight of our goal; the American Red Cross is committed to spending your donations wisely… and we will be there until the last dollar that was so generously donated for Haiti is spent."

In brief, since the earthquake struck on January 12, 2010, the American Red Cross has provided:

  • Medical care for nearly 217,000 patients
  • Cash grants and loans to help 220,000 people
  • Latrines for 265,000 people
  • Daily drinking water for more than 317,000 people
  • Emergency shelter materials for more than 860,000 people
  • Vaccinations for nearly 1 million people
  • Food for 1.3 million people for one month

Continuing concerns include both transitional and permanent housing, financial assistance for survivors, clean water and sanitation, and medical care. Relief workers also faced additional challenges during the recent cholera outbreak, during which they launched public education campaigns and set up treatment centers. The Red Cross also assisted in hurricane preparedness, working with camp residents to reinforce embankments, dig trenches, install warning systems, teach first aid, and pre-position supplies. Their response committees were critical when Hurricane Tomas struck in early November.

In the coming years, the focus will turn more strongly toward building permanent homes, removing rubble, vaccinating the population against disease, supporting livelihood opportunities, and rebuilding water supply systems. In addition, the Red Cross will work to reduce the risk of future disasters. As the report states, "Significant challenges remain, but the American Red Cross will do its best to overcome these and will be there to support the Haitian people until every last donor dollar has been spent."

For more details on what the Red Cross has accomplished and the challenges that remain, please visit the organization's website. The Foundation thanks all of the generous donors who joined us in contributing to this important cause.

This story was featured in our January 2011 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.