A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti on Aug. 14, causing physical destruction and the loss of human life.
Aug. 16, 2021 LCMS.org
Guidance for those who want to help in Haiti
Residents pray on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, at a home in Duchity, Haiti. LCMS Communications/Erik M. Lunsford

On Saturday, Aug. 14, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck southwest Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, causing physical destruction and the loss of human life. As of Monday morning, the death toll had reached nearly 1,300, with many anticipating that number to increase significantly. The people of Haiti face increased difficulty in finding basic supplies, including food and water. The presence of a tropical storm in the area further complicates the situation and increases the anticipated need for aid and assistance over the coming months and years.

LCMS World Relief and Human Care Disaster Response has begun to evaluate and respond to this situation to provide aid in coordination with the LCMS’ partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (Eglise Evangelique Lutherienne D’Haiti), and those LCMS Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs) that have longstanding expertise operating in and providing assistance to the Haitian populace.

This situation in Haiti is exceedingly complex, given ongoing in-country political instability, rampant criminal activities and violence, corresponding lapses in security, and frequently occurring corrupt behaviors, including financial improprieties. In such environments, even the most well-intentioned aid responses, rather than helping those in need, can cause more damage and distress. Accordingly, the LCMS strongly recommends against any individual or congregation attempting to provide aid directly to recipients within Haiti. The most prudent course of action, toward the best stewardship of aid resources, is to work through established agencies such as LCMS Disaster Response and our trusted RSO partners. Please contact LCMS Disaster Response to coordinate your aid response in Haiti with the LCMS and our RSOs.

The LCMS has a well-established track record of relief work in Haiti, acknowledged by many outside observers, of effectively directing funds and other resources to the areas and arenas in which they are most needed and beneficial. This work is evinced in the LCMS’ response to Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Following that storm, LCMS Disaster Response coordinated a $500,000 effort, including rebuilding 18 congregations, repairing the homes of 33 pastors, digging 14 new wells, and providing various supplies for basic human needs.

The people of the LCMS can greatly and positively help Haitian individuals and partner church congregations affected by this catastrophe by contributing to LCMS Disaster Response. In addition to providing monetary aid, please pray for those in Haiti and those providing care.

For updates on this developing situation, visit lcms.org/disaster.


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