Statement on Emergency Response to Haiti - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s thoughts are with the people of Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck on January 12, 2010. We have awarded three grants to respond to the immediate-, medium-, and long-term needs of those affected by the earthquake.
On January 14, the foundation provided a $1 million grant to Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which has experienced personnel and a stock of emergency supplies in Haiti. This grant will help cover CRS’s initial relief efforts, which include addressing the immediate shelter, food, water, sanitation, health and other needs of those affected by the quake. CRS will also continue on-the-ground assessment of the damage.
On January 15, we awarded a second grant to Partners in Health (PIH) for $500,000. This grant will help PIH provide immediate- and medium-term medical care through PIH’s existing 10 health facilities and temporary/ mobile clinics. It will also support the provision of medical supplies, tents, blankets, water, and other essential items.
On March 24, the foundation awarded a $650,000 grant to Mercy Corps’ Comfort for Kids project (C4K) to provide emotional and psychological support to children affected by the earthquake. The C4K project will train parents, caregivers and key community members to understand and effectively respond to atypical behavior attributed to severe trauma. Mercy Corps will also sponsor community-building and social activities that reestablish community connections, and restore a sense of security.
The international community continues to respond to this disaster with compassion and urgency; in the last few months many governments, UN agencies and aid groups have mobilized teams and resources. The humanitarian conditions are catastrophic, and much more will need to be done to address the physical destruction and emotional trauma, as well as support the sustained recovery efforts so that people can rebuild their lives.
The foundation will continue to monitor the situation.