Immigrants And Refugees
Immigrants and Refugees

Catholic Charities Emergency Relief Fund to Assist Haitian Earthquake Victims

Earthquake Damage in Haiti. Photo: Shutterstock

Catholic Charities Emergency Relief Fund is supporting Haiti’s relief and recovery from a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the country Aug. 14, killing more than 1,300 people and injuring 5,700. 

While Catholic Charities in New York (CCNY) focuses on needs in the metropolitan area, the reach of the services of CCNY’s team of immigration attorneys and resettlement professionals is international and global –individuals from more than 100 different countries and five continents are assisted each year.  As a result, disasters in many different places impact our work in New York.  In the past five years, Catholic Charities resettled 35 Haitians and provided immigration assistance to more than 650 Haitians.

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The earthquake, according to Catholic Relief Services (CRS), caused major damage to Les Cayes, the country’s third-largest city. More than 1,300 have been killed and more than 5,700 injured. According to  CNN, the quake leveled 13,694 homes and damaged another 13,785.

The natural calamities follow recovery from the country’s 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew in 2016, prolonged drought, the COVID-19 pandemic and political upheaval caused by the July 7 assassination of Jovenel Moise, the Haitian president.  Akim Kikonda, CRS’ country representative in Haiti reported, “Prior to the earthquake, people here were already struggling to make ends meet. It is quite possible that Haiti is going to need more help than ever before.”

Sadly, Not Haiti alone…

Humanitarian crises are global. Thousands of miles away in Afghanistan, millions are suffering the violence and deprivations of war and terror.  In the past five years, Catholic Charities in New York has helped resettle and provided immigration services to 39 Afghan families. Currently Catholic Charities is processing special immigrant visas to provide refuge and a safe haven for 13 individual Afghans who cooperated and assisted the U.S. 

Over the years, Catholic Charities, through our Emergency Fund, has partnered with Catholic Relief Services, Caritas and other organizations to respond to humanitarian crises oversees, in addition to emergencies within our own country.