A devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake and Tropical Depression Grace have plunged Haiti and its children into back-to-back crises. In the hardest-hit departments — Sud, Nippes and Grand’Anse — children wake up every day to a country the nation’s prime minister, Ariel Henry, calls “physically and mentally destroyed.”
UNICEF estimates that about 1.2 million people have been affected, including 540,000 children. More than 115,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed, along with hospitals, schools and bridges.
“Countless Haitian families who have lost everything are now living literally with their feet in the water due to the flooding,” reported UNICEF’s Representative in Haiti, Bruno Maes, the day after Grace's heavy rains drenched the ruins in Les Cayes, Sud Department's capital. “Right now, about half a million Haitian children have limited or no access to shelter, safe water, health care and nutrition.”
When children and their families face danger, UNICEF does whatever it takes to rush to their aid. Within hours of the Haiti earthquake, UNICEF successfully maneuvered security risks to transport medical supplies over gang-controlled roads to three hospitals in Les Cayes. The delivery included enough supplies — including gloves, painkillers, antibiotics and syringes — to treat 30,000 earthquake victims over three months.
UNICEF’s ability to reach children and their families whenever and wherever disaster strikes makes it one of the best charities to donate to if you want your support to go a long way. Here are five ways you can help UNICEF rush aid and supplies to Haiti.
Show you care with a one-time donation for Haiti
Contributions, no matter how big or small, provide crucial support for children. Although UNICEF is part of the United Nations, it receives no funding and relies on voluntary contributions to respond to emergencies like the earthquake in Haiti. Donations are 100 percent tax-deductible. Want to go the extra mile? Cover your donation fees to ensure your entire donation goes to help children and families in Haiti.
Start your own fundraiser
It only takes a minute to set up an online fundraiser for Haiti and another minute to share it with everyone you know. Pro tip: Make sure to include "Haiti" in the name of your fundraiser, then share it with friends and family so they can join you in rushing aid to children in Haiti who are suffering the impacts of this devastating crisis.
Send a UNICEF Inspired Gift of emergency supplies
UNICEF is already working to distribute tarpaulins for emergency shelter, latrines and showers; reservoirs for safe water and hygiene kits containing water treatment tablets, soap, menstrual hygiene supplies and more. But UNICEF estimates it will take $15 million to help at least 385,000 people, including 167,000 children under 5, make it through the next 8 weeks.
By giving an Inspired Gift in honor of a friend or loved one, you can help. UNICEF Inspired Gifts are actual supplies like blankets and clothes to keep children warm, radios and school supplies kids and teens can use to keep learning when schools are closed, lifesaving nutrition for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition and personal protective equipment for health workers. The Inspired Gifts Emergency Relief collection includes many of these essentials and more.
Share UNICEF updates on your social networks
UNICEF USA's Social Media team has created a host of posts about the Haiti earthquake and related crises in the country — using compelling videos, photos and the latest updates — for supporters to share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. The team will be adding new content as updates come in from Haiti. Find the posts here at UNICEF USA's Social Press Kit and check back frequently.
Make a monthly gift
Protecting children before, during and after a crisis requires a reliable source of funding. That's the beauty of what monthly donors provide: a constant stream of revenue that enables UNICEF to pre-position emergency supplies before a disaster strikes and build sustainable solutions long after an immediate crisis has subsided.
Monthly giving is good for the world's most vulnerable children. It also comes with significant benefits for supporters, too. Monthly donors are automatically admitted to the Guardian Circle, which entitles them to:
Annual statements to make tax time easier
An easy-to-use donor portal that simplifies adjusting gift amounts, updating payment methods and making other changes, including the timing of donations with the option to cancel at any point
Targeted communications in the form of monthly statements detailing giving to date and a quarterly newsletter with stories from the field
A dedicated, responsive team available to answer questions via email or phone
Where your gifts go
For 75 years, UNICEF has been putting children first, working to protect their rights and provide the assistance and services they need to survive and thrive. UNICEF and partners are working tirelessly in Haiti, Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, Bangladesh and around the world to save and protect children. With a presence in 190 countries and territories, UNICEF has helped save more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world.
Top photo: UNICEF workers walk in the courtyard of Ofatma Hospital in Les Cayes, Haiti. The 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti cracked the hospital's walls and floor and damaged the surgical unit, which is now unusable. UNICEF installed tents in the courtyard to shelter patients and their families who feared the hospital might collapse. © UNICEF/UN0503616/Rouzier