Media Release: 19th August 2021

Catholic agencies provide relief in Haiti after earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace

After the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the south of Haiti on Saturday August 14, Catholic agencies, Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Haiti have been working to provide relief to over 75,000 families affected. 

At least 1,941 deaths and more than 6,900 have been injured so far, with expectations for these figures to continue to rise. At least 37,000 homes were destroyed and another 46,000 damaged.  
 
On Tuesday, August 17, Tropical Storm Grace hit Haiti.  
 
“We’d feared widespread destruction from the storm, but thankfully the storm weakened over Haiti and the flooding of the city of Cayes was not as severe as we’d anticipated,” said Melville Fernandez, Caritas Australia’s Humanitarian Emergencies Manager.  
 
“Nonetheless, the storm has complicated relief efforts because now some key roads are impassable from flooding-related landslides or damage to bridges. The ongoing gang violence along key routes to the south is also making local travel extremely dangerous for humanitarian workers, which makes responding even tougher.”  
 
There is immediate and urgent need for food, water, shelter, hygiene kits and first aid on the ground. 
 
Catholic Relief Services is currently distributing tents, tarps, hygiene kits, kitchen kits and metal sheets to affected families in Les Cayes and is working with other organisations to coordinate response on the ground. 
 
To provide support, you can donate to Caritas Australia’s Emergency Response Appeal via the website www.caritas.org.au or call 1800 024 413. 

Media contact: Jessica Stone 0490 684 867 / jessica.stone@caritas.org.au  
caritasmedia@caritas.org.au.  
 
Note: 
Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia is available for interview.  
Melville Fernandez, Humanitarian Emergencies Manager at Caritas Australia is available for interview.