Aid keeps on helping Haiti rebuild from devastating quake

Posted July 28, 2011

— Eighteen months after a massive earthquake killed up to 250,000 people in Haiti, the American Red Cross continues to direct aid to the more than 1.5 million people left homeless.

Emergency aid poured into Haiti in the days after the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake. North Carolinians gave more than $10 million, and the American Red Cross received $484 million for earthquake relief.

"The money went in many different ways, and it's going in many different ways, from the disaster response to the transitional moment to the recovery," said Ricardo Caivano, head of the American Red Cross team in Haiti.

For now, many in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, are still in survival mode. Tent cities, including one outside the presidential palace, shelter hundreds of thousands, and cholera is an ever-present threat.

Signs of progress are also present, including at a Red Cross distribution site in Pentonville, about 25 minutes from the capital.

"This is the Red Cross helping people be prepared for the next season," Caivano said. "Right now, we are distributing hygiene kits for people that live in tents, for people that live in camps."

Some Red Cross funds are helping supply basic needs, such as huge water containers that provide clean water for families.

Other funds go to big, long-term challenges, like housing. NC money put to use in Haiti NC money put to use in Haiti

The Red Cross is helping build transitional shelters near where people used to live and to the tent cities where they've established some means to support their families.

"These are transitional shelters the Red Cross, along with other partners, have built thanks to the generosity of American people," Caivano said.

Caivano said he understands that people are angry and frustrated at the pace of recovery and that he is too. He pointed, though, to ongoing reconstructions efforts in the United States after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as an example of how long it can take to recover from a catastrophic natural disaster.


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  • bigjo482 Jul 29, 2011

    Thank you Pam and WRAL for showing this and following up on the needs of the people of Haiti.

    @robjustrob- whats wrong with helping non-government charities just trying to help other people? Sure Haiti's government is bad but ours isnt perfect either. Does that mean the people should go without help just because their government sucks? If that were the case America would be worse off than we already are.

  • robjustrob Jul 28, 2011

    Haiti seems a bottomless pit of indigenous poverty spawned by a corrupt government that won't lift a finger to improve the life of the citizens it oversees. And as long as countries like us are willing to throw our money into this black hole, their government learns it can sit back and let the rest of the world shoulder the burden. And things never improve. Time after time, disater after disaster, it never builds itself up. It just decays. Let it go. Save yourselves.