Haitians Still Have Hope Despite Earthquake Recovery Disappointment

(Photo courtesy of Compassion International)

Ten years ago today, Haitians awoke to a new age of struggle and devastation. On January 12th, 2010, a 7.0 earthquake practically flattened the capital city of Port-au-Prince.  It was purportedly the strongest quake to strike Haiti in 200 years.

Over 200,000 people lost their lives and 3.5 million lost their homes, OCHA reports. The total earthquake-related loss was estimated at $7.8 billion – more than 120% of Haiti’s 2009 gross domestic product. Billions of dollars of aid money poured into the tiny Caribbean nation, but questions surround the fate of those investments.

“Unfortunately, Haiti has made so little recovery progress.  More than 10 years after, we still see people… living under tents,” says Ricot St. Paulin, who oversees program support for Compassion International’s Haiti office.

“Things are even getting worse and worse… A lot of this is due to anger and frustration that the Haitian government’s response… [has] not helped at all.”

By comparison, Compassion Haiti is making steady gains.  Help release children and families from poverty in Jesus’ Name.

Problems vs. progress

As previously noted, significant challenges haunt Haiti’s steps, keeping it mired in crippling poverty and despair. Droughtprotests, and a widespread lack of daily essentials plagued Haiti in 2019 alone.

“Over the past few months, the political instability has [crippled] Haiti’s economic and social development, causing the level of inflation to reach about 20%,” St. Paulin says. “Not much has been done [in terms of earthquake recovery] but we stay hopeful that things will be changed.”

Three days after the 2010 quake, Wes Stafford – Compassion’s International’s president at the time – described the disaster’s impact on Haitian believers, Compassion’s church partners, and local staff.  For the next decade, Compassion staff faithfully walked with Haitian believers across every hill and through valley.

Learn more about Compassion’s progress here.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray for wisdom and guidance for Compassion Haiti’s leadership team.
  • Pray for young people who are eager and willing to lead. Ask the Lord for opportunities to grow this skillset.
  • Pray that Haitian students will learn to value education, dream of a successful future, and find a career path that lifts them out of poverty.