Tropical Storm Elsa

Media CenterCRS Readies Haiti Response to Tropical Storm Elsa

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Nikki Gamer
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(443) 955- 7125


CRS concerned by the potential for flooding and landslides along Haiti’s southern coast

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, July 3, 2021 – As Tropical Storm Elsa barrels toward southern Haiti, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) teams are readying a response to the hardest-hit areas. The storm, which is expected to hit late Saturday afternoon with sustained winds of up to 70 mph, threatens communities in and around Les Cayes and Jeremie.

“This storm could be devastating. People could lose their houses, their cropland, and even their lives,” said Akim Kikonda, CRS’ Haiti country representative. “Worsening deforestation has made these coastal communities especially vulnerable to storms. Even a smaller storm has the potential to be catastrophic.”

With offices in Le Cayes and Jeremie, CRS has activated its emergency response team in Haiti and is ready to assess the extent of the damage after it hits. In preparation for the storm, communities along the coast have been securing their houses to avoid destruction.

“Flooding and the loss of shelter are our two main concerns,” Kikonda said. 

Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to hit Haiti at a  troubling time, as the country battles a public health emergency due to COVID-19, along with a debilitating increase in gang violence.

“With COVID numbers going up in the last several weeks, and with gang violence making life dangerous, it’s the perfect storm,” Kikonda said. “Haiti is truly in crisis.”


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.  For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Nikki Gamer

Senior Public Affairs Manager

Nikki Gamer
July 3, 2021

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Senior Public Affairs Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement...More