It is difficult to believe how much Haiti is suffering. Not only was its president assassinated a little over a month ago, but a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit last weekend with a death toll now of over 1400. And, if that is not enough, a tropical storm is quickly barreling its way towards the island where mudslides will inevitably cause additional deaths, injuries, and property damage. This is all amid an interim government that has not gotten its bearings after President
I had the privilege of visiting Haiti once. That was five years after the devastating earthquake in 2010 that killed 200,000 and injured 300,000. Even after five years I could clearly see where buildings had not been rebuilt and rubble was still bulldozed into corners across Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital.
Then, I went to see the work of Midwives for Haiti whose dedication to quality maternity care in the poorest country in the western hemisphere I admire greatly. While Midwives for Haiti was not immediately affected by the earthquake, there will undoubtedly be an increased need for its help in the region because as its Executive Director, Jane Drichta, said in her most recent newsletter, “Haiti is a small nation and what affects one, affects all.”
Photo: A delegation led by Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations and Miroslav Jenca, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, conducts a Strategic Assessment Mission in Haiti. The goal of the mission is to prepare the end of peacekeeping operations in the country and meet with Haitian authorities to discuss the future UN support to Haiti.
A view of Port-au-Prince as seen from a UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) helicopter on the way back to the city after the delegation visited Les Cayes, Haiti.
UN Photo/Leonora Baumann