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The long road to recovery

Haiti, December 29, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Lisa Hoashi/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Mercy Corps cash-for-work project in the community of Bohoc rehabilitating and widening a road. Photo: Lisa Hoashi/Mercy Corps

The Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti decimated the capital city of Port-au-Prince, killing more than 230,000 people. It was a tragic blow to a country where 55 percent of the population already lived below the poverty line of $1 a day.

Buoyed by the world’s attention and support, Haitians showed courageous optimism as they restarted their lives. Mercy Corps was on the ground just two days after the disaster, and we remain there to help survivors realize their dream of building a strong, prosperous nation.

Thanks to your generosity, Mercy Corps has provided more than 830,000 people with emergency food, clean water, household necessities and shelter materials, as well as post-disaster trauma support and temporary jobs.

Addressing Basic Needs and Root Causes
A recent hurricane, cholera epidemic and political unrest have worsened the situation in Haiti, and families still urgently need emergency aid. In response, Mercy Corps continues robust relief programs for families in Port-au-Prince and in the underserved provinces of the Central Plateau and the Artibonite, where an estimated 140,000 survivors sought refuge.

Our challenge now is to continue relief activities while helping families gain a solid foothold to lift themselves out of poverty. We recognize that in Haiti, emergency needs for food, water and shelter will never end unless we simultaneously address their root causes, especially unemployment and poor infrastructure. Your support is allowing us to do that.

Laying the Foundation for the Future
Shortly after the earthquake, Mercy Corps expanded our programs to the rural Central Plateau and the Artibonite region. Under the leadership of country director Brian Oakes, an agricultural expert with 30 years in Haiti, we’re helping local families and displaced earthquake survivors turn subsistence farming into profitable businesses. It’s an important shift that will give these resilient people the ongoing means to improve their lives.

The road to recovery remains a difficult one, but together with the people of Haiti, we continue to move toward their vision for a more productive and peaceful country. Your gifts have made this work possible — thank you.