LES CAYES, Haiti (October 1, 2021) — Habitat for Humanity and ShelterBox have started distributing emergency shelter aid to communities who lost homes in the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that recently devastated southwestern Haiti.
The earthquake destroyed nearly 53,000 homes and severely damaged 77,000 more. People who lost their homes were left exposed to the elements, with little privacy or protection from the ongoing severe weather and other threats.
ShelterBox and Habitat for Humanity, in close coordination with government and local officials, are distributing shelter kits in hard-hit communities. The kits include tarpaulins, tools and fixings, thermal blankets, solar lights, kitchen sets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets and water carriers.
ShelterBox is supplying emergency shelter aid as well as training and technical support to people using the items. Habitat for Humanity is using its strong local connections to run and monitor the distributions while also identifying shelter needs in communities.
“Quality shelter materials are in scarce supply and an absolutely urgent need right now here in Haiti,” said Jean Frenel Tham, national director of Habitat for Humanity Haiti. “Even many families whose homes are still standing are choosing to sleep outside for fear their damaged homes could still cave in. By working together, Habitat and ShelterBox will be able to get more families back on their feet faster, so they can begin rebuilding homes and entire communities.”
“Providing the vital emergency shelter aid that families need after the earthquake helps to ensure that much-needed resources are available for the initial emergency. As well as being used for emergency shelters and repairs, this partnership will also contribute to providing the foundations for further recovery and reconstruction. Families in Haiti deserve a place to call home” said Alice Jefferson, ShelterBox head of responses. “Habitat for Humanity has been a trusted and valued partner for many years. We know that by working together, we will make the biggest difference to the people who need support.”
ShelterBox has responded to several disasters in Haiti, including in the catastrophic 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. In 2010, ShelterBox provided shelter for 140,000 people, the organization’s biggest response to date, outside the long-running conflict in Syria.
Habitat for Humanity has worked in Haiti since 1984. The organization also helped rebuild and rehabilitate communities devastated by the 2010 earthquake. In the wake of Hurricane Matthew five years ago, Habitat partnered with families to build or repair more than 1,800 homes. Early assessments following August’s earthquake indicate that roughly 98% of those homes are safe and free of significant damage.
Habitat and ShelterBox have worked together in disaster responses around the world, from India and Malawi to the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Paraguay.