Aid to the Church in Need sent $70,000 in emergency help for Haiti last Friday, with more aid planned in the months to come. Communication difficulties and the deaths of leading clergy are hampering the relief efforts.
The package was agreed upon late Thursday and directed towards Haiti through the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Bernardito Auza. It will provide food, clean water, clothing, medical aid and temporary shelter to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the massive Jan. 12 earthquake.
The charity expects a series of requests to help support the spiritual needs of Haitians as they begin their long recovery from the disaster.
After struggling to contact bishops and other project partners in Haiti, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) was able to send messages of support to leading clergy and to learn of the needs in the crisis areas.
Bishop Gontrand Decoste, SJ, of Jérémie told ACN:
“Haiti has been struck by a terrible tragedy. Port-au-Prince is practically destroyed. We are on our knees. Only thanks to the solidarity of people like you can we begin to find the strength to get up on our feet again.”
“Thank you for your heartfelt message of solidarity. We will certainly need help for people who have lost their homes. Also, there is a need to provide support for damaged churches.”
Xavier Legoretta, who co-ordinates ACN projects in Haiti, has urged prayers for those suffering.
“This traumatic experience is for Haiti what the tsunami was five years ago for the people of south-east Asia,” he said.
“What happened in Haiti on Tuesday is a wake-up call to the West, reminding us that we should never forget those who are suffering so much in our world.”
“We know we can count on the prayers and compassion of our benefactors, that they are willing and able to be a sign of solidarity, accompanying the people of Haiti through the difficult days, months and even years to come.”