CRS in Haiti

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Timeline of Progress in Haiti

January 11, 2010

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80 percent of the nation's population living below the poverty line. Political, economic and social instability complicate struggles for survival. The literacy rate is about 53 percent, and life expectancy ranks in the bottom 20 percent worldwide.

Constant Bebe in front of his home that was destroyed by the quake.

Constant Bebe stands in front of his home after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that ravaged the city of Port-au-Prince, on January 12, 2010. Soon after this photo was taken, Constant was hired by CRS as a community liaison at the Petionville camp. Photo by Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

Catholic Relief Services has had a strong presence in Haiti for 55 years in response to the extreme poverty and the needs of the Haitian people. This is Haiti before the earthquake.

January 12, 2010

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake strikes the capital city of Port-au-Prince and kills more than 230,000 people.

CRS fellow Mary Lineberger gets into her car. As she puts the key into the ignition, the earth shakes. She recalls the panicked moments during and after the earthquake rocked Haiti. See the aftermath of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince.

January 14, 2010

Even as many of our staff reel from loss of homes and loved ones, CRS responds immediately to help the millions of people affected by the earthquake. Staffers in neighboring Dominican Republic prepare 10,000 packages of food and water with each package containing enough to sustain a family of five for two weeks.

January 18, 2010

CRS delivers enough medical and food supplies to allow doctors at St. Francois de Sales hospital in Port-au-Prince to perform their first operations since the earthquake destroyed about 70 percent of the hospital. CRS and the University of Maryland's School of Medicine, the Institute of Human Virology and the Maryland Shock Trauma Center have teamed up with the St. Francois de Sales team to give much needed assistance to Port-au-Prince's oldest hospital.

January 19, 2010

CRS helps organize aid at Petionville Golf Club as it becomes a makeshift camp for thousands of displaced Haitians. With security provided by unarmed soldiers from the U. S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division, CRS registers people at the camp and provides them with food, water and hygiene supplies.

January 22, 2010
50,000 Haitians called the golf course at the Petionville Club home

Shortly after the earthquake, about 50,000 Haitians called the golf course at the Petionville Club home. CRS distributed food, water and hygiene supplies to those living in the camp. Photo by Lane Hartill/CRS

CRS sets up a food distribution system to immediately feed more than 50,000 people. Plans are also taking shape to set up 50 more distribution points to reach 150,000 people.

January 25, 2010

Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, then chairman of the CRS board, and CRS President Ken Hackett attend the funeral for Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot and Monsignor Charles Benoit of Port-au-Prince. More than 1,000 people pay their respects to the clergy killed by the earthquake.

February 17, 2010

Just more than one month after the earthquake, CRS has fed more than 500,000 people. Additionally, CRS helps keep the heavily damaged St. Francois de Sales Hospital running and distributes emergency shelter kits to more than 32,500 people.

April 5, 2010

Nearly 3 months after the earthquake, CRS continues to help those most in need. CRS has fed more than 700,000 people, given 45,000 outpatients treatment, provided more than 80,000 emergency shelter kits and hired about 1,700 people in cash-for-work programs.

July 9, 2010

As Haiti prepares to mark the six month anniversary of the quake, CRS makes progress throughout the Port-au-Prince area. Food had been distributed to nearly 900,000 people, and 114,000 people received emergency shelter materials. CRS has completed 62,000 outpatient consultations and 960 emergency operations.

Marie Claude Colixte stands in front of her new temporary shelter

Marie Claude Colixte stands in front of her new CRS-built temporary shelter in the Carradeux neighborhood of in Port-au-Prince. Photo by Benjamin Depp for CRS

September 22, 2010

Just more than 8 months after the earthquake, CRS begins building transitional shelters for about 8,000 families. Herb Combs, an American carpenter, helps lead CRS' transitional shelter program. See these homes under construction.

October 23, 2010

Catholic Relief Services mobilizes a massive response just one day after the cholera outbreak is confirmed. CRS and partners go tent to tent in 12 camps in Port-au-Prince, distributing three bars of soap each to more than 10,000 families (more than 50,000 people) and reaching thousands more through an information campaign that promotes hand washing and personal hygiene. CRS hires local graffiti artist Jerry Rosembert to spray paint messages promoting good hygiene to prevent the spread of cholera.

November 5, 2010

Shortly after a cholera outbreak is discovered, Hurricane Tomas makes landfall on the besieged nation. Although the worst of the storm misses Port-au-Prince, many people are affected. CRS feeds about 4,000 people seeking refuge in temporary shelters during the storm.

November 8, 2010

St. Francois de Sales hospital in Port-au-Prince, which was destroyed in the earthquake, is reopened in a temporary facility. CRS worked with the hospital staff to construct the temporary quarters and move in new medical equipment and supplies.

December 12, 2010

Your generosity has helped CRS and our partners feed more than one million Haitians, provide shelter to more than 250,000 people, conduct about 70,000 outpatient hospital consultations, provide more than 10,000 people with short-term employment, and offer protection and education to thousands of vulnerable children.

The first anniversary of the earthquake is a day to remember loved ones lost, homes destroyed and lives changed. It is also a day to reflect on the difference a year has made for the people in Port-au-Prince. Because of your generosity, the Haitian people have been given a chance to recover and rebuild their lives.

Life for many Haitians before January 12, 2010, was one of abject poverty. CRS is committed to working with the people of Haiti to build back better than before and lead their own communities to a brighter future.

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