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Click to DONATE CARE is in a race against time to provide survivors waterproof shelter and decent sanitation before the rainy season hits at the end of March. You can help.

Today, the earthquake that devastated Haiti continues to take its toll on survivors. 1 million people are displaced from their homes and urgently need shelter, food, sanitation, health care and income. Nearly 300,000 are injured. Children and pregnant women are also at serious risk without immediate help.

But a new crisis is threatening the people of Haiti. “Our biggest fear at this point is the outbreak of disease. It's one thing to see half your family die in an earthquake, but it's another to watch the other half die slowly from diarrhea,” said Paul Shanahan, CARE's Senior Water and Sanitation Advisor.

And with the rainy season coming in March, women, children and families must have adequate shelter for the weather. Most people crammed into overcrowded temporary camps are huddled under bed sheets strung between poles or sticks — hardly enough to block out the sun, but useless against the torrential downpours of Haiti's rainy season. In addition, stories of violence against women are spreading, and CARE's workers are working to treat and counsel the victims, as well re-establish reporting processes, in the absence of police and hospital services.

Your help is urgently needed. Help CARE continue to provide aid to survivors of this deadly disaster with your generous donation today.

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CARE's Emergency Response in Haiti:

  • To date, CARE has reached more than 184,737 people with food, safe drinking water, shelter, water and sanitation facilities, emergency supplies and health care for pregnant and nursing mothers. We have provided food, water purification packets, mattresses, blankets, clean delivery kits, newborn kits, and hygiene kits, and access to water. But more needs to be done.
  • We need to provide survivors with waterproof shelter and decent sanitation before the rainy season begins:
    • Shelter: CARE plans to provide emergency shelter for 8,500 families (42,500 people). While tents might seem to be the logical solution, there simply isn't enough room in downtown Port-au-Prince's limited public spaces. So the best immediate solution for the congested areas is tarps. Lots of them, and fast.
    • Sanitation: We have completed the installation of 35 latrines and plan to build a total of 3,000. CARE is also providing hand-washing education, hygiene kits with soap and cleaning supplies, and removal of excrement in camps built on hills or areas without access to latrines.
  • More than 150 emergency relief staff are on the ground delivering aid and helping survivors. Having an experienced emergency team has allowed us to start providing immediate lifesaving assistance while planning for longer-term recovery.
  • CARE partnered with the U.N. World Food Program (WFP), to carry out a massive food distribution effort. We are distributing a 55 lbs. bag of uncooked rice to approximately 1,700 families per day - reaching an estimated 119,000 persons during a 15-day period. The WFP considers CARE to be the most efficient group aiding the effort, with emergency staff working non-stop from 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day to assure an orderly and well-executed distribution that reaches the most vulnerable survivors, such as pregnant women, children and the elderly.
  • There are 37,000 pregnant women in the disaster zone who are in urgent need of food, safe water and access to health care. CARE is working hard to support their needs with clean delivery kits, mattresses and more.
  • We are in the process of acquiring and bringing in more supplies, such as jerry cans, tents, temporary warehouse structures, generators and high-protein meals from places like Dubai, Karachi and Nairobi.
  • The CARE team in Haiti has begun planning for immediate recovery activities that could include activities such as rebuilding homes and implementing a cash-for-work program for people to help clear debris. We also are planning a five year effort to support Haitians as their rebuild their lives and their communities.

Helping Women

We know that in emergencies like this, women and girls are at increased risk of sexual violence, exploitation and abuse when seeking food and other services.

"There are a lot of pregnant women in the streets, and mothers breastfeeding new babies. There are also women giving birth in the street, directly in the street. The situation is very critical. Women try to reach the nearest hospital, but as most of the hospitals are full, it's very difficult for them to receive the appropriate care. Mothers and their babies could die from complications without medical care," said Sophie Perez, country director for CARE in Haiti.

To help meet the specific needs of pregnant women, new mothers and children, CARE is focusing on the distribution of:

  • Water purification tablets to provide clean water, particularly for pregnant women and children who are particularly susceptible to waterborne illness such as diarrhea.
  • Emergency food rations.
  • Infant kits for mothers with newborns and young babies.
  • Hygiene kits that include soap and toothpaste, sanitary napkins and undergarments for women.

Violence against Women: A Tragedy

Stories of rape are spreading like wildfire through the camps, where hundreds of thousands of people are huddled together under flimsy shelters.

"It happens at night," said a woman who sleeps in a makeshift tent in a crowded camp in Pacot, one of the most dangerous spontaneous camps that has sprung up in the city. "Young men come with weapons, and rape the women. They haven’t reported it, because the services don’t exist anymore. The hospitals, the police everything was destroyed in the earthquake."

CARE is working to re-establish reporting procedures, and ensuring confidential, quality services, including clinical management of rape, emergency contraception and psychosocial support, are available to treat survivors of rape and sexual violence.

Preventing Disease

In addition to providing sanitation services, latrines and hygiene kits, CARE is helping with a pilot immunization campaign targeting residents of temporary settlement sites. The immunizations include: rubella and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccines for children under 7; and diphtheria and tetanus for older children and adults.

Why Give to CARE?

CARE has been working in Haiti since 1954 and had more than 125 staff living and working in Haiti before the earthquake. CARE also has extensive experience responding to disasters of this magnitude. Many of CARE's staff in Haiti include emergency personnel who were part of the response to the devastating Hurricane Hanna in 2008. CARE's work in Haiti includes projects in HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, maternal and child health, education, food security, and water and sanitation.

Founded in 1945, CARE is one of the world's largest humanitarian aid agencies. Working side-by-side with poor people in 72 countries, CARE helps empower communities to address the greatest threats to their survival. Learn more about our work.

Haiti is already one of the poorest countries in the world, and this earthquake will make things worse for impoverished men, women and children there. Please give now to help CARE deliver lifesaving aid to the people of Haiti as soon as possible.

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