New York, August 15, 2021 — The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is responding to the devastating earthquake that struck southwestern Haiti on Saturday by providing critically-needed medical supplies – including wound care, surgical instruments, fluids, IV starters, sutures, gloves, masks, face shields, and clean linens – to local hospitals treating the wounded. JDC is working through its longtime partner, the Afya Foundation, to ship materials to a hospital in Aquin. As the extent of the damage unfolds, JDC, which has worked in Haiti since 2010, continues to assess emerging needs and is raising additional funds to address them. To support JDC’s efforts in Haiti, visit: https://www.jdc.org/HaitiEarthquake2021
“We are heartbroken over the tragic loss of life in Haiti and send our prayers to a people and nation in mourning yet again. As we have done so many times in the past, we’ll be there to offer care, healing, and opportunities to empower Hatians to build back better and safer. It’s all the more fitting, and poignant, that we are doing this work during the Jewish month of Elul, when we engage in introspection and work to mend the broken parts of our personal and collective lives,” said JDC CEO Ariel Zwang.
JDC’s work in Haiti includes its long-term responses to the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. In addition to providing emergency needs — food, water, and medical care — JDC has engaged in programs reaching hundreds of thousands of people by addressing women and children’s health; care for people with disabilities; employment; rebuilding of infrastructure like schools and hospitals; disaster preparedness; and empowering social service leadership and local nonprofits.
In addition to this work, JDC had a historic presence in Haiti dating to the WWII period. Haiti allowed Jews fleeing the Nazis to settle on the island and JDC provided care to those refugees and to others who found safe haven in the Dominican Republic with JDC’s help.
JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC relief activities are coordinated with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the Israeli government, and the United Nations, as well as local and international partners.
JDC and its partners have recently responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and Asia as well as natural disasters in Mozambique, the Bahamas, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Mexico. The group continues its post-disaster development work in Philippines and Haiti and leads the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief (JCDR), made up of 49 mostly North American Jewish organizations who address disasters and development challenges worldwide.
Since 2008, the Afya Foundation has been fulfilling its mission to improve healthcare delivery in underserved communities around the world. Afya accomplishes this goal by coordinating with local medical professionals on the ground and facilitating customized shipments of rescued surplus medical supplies and equipment that improve local health systems. Our regional network of medical supply donors and volunteers enables Afya to meet immediate humanitarian needs in areas devastated by natural disaster or public health crises in tandem with our long-term programs to address chronic health disparities. https://afyafoundation.org/