Latest update: 11.00am Thursday 14 January
World Vision is assessing damage and beginning a massive relief response today, after an earthquake measuring 7.0 magnitude hit Haiti on 12 January.
Reports suggest the loss of life is significant, and likely to be in the thousands. Many more people have been made homeless and are in urgent need of medical care, clean water, shelter and food.
World Vision has warned children will be made even more vulnerable in this tragedy. Haiti has the worst indicators on child health and education in the Western hemisphere, and levels of child rights violations are already alarming.
“We are very concerned about the protection and wellbeing of the children. An earthquake of this magnitude is an extremely distressing experience for children. Many children may be injured or separated from their families. Our priority is ensuring that children’s physical and emotional needs are met, both now and in the coming weeks,” explained Amanda Rives, a World Vision staffer for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Aid agencies are likely to face significant logistical challenges in assisting the thousands, if not millions, of affected families.
World Vision staff on the ground in Haiti are mobilising a response, and international relief experts will arrive as early as today to assist with the response.
“World Vision Haiti will distribute emergency kits to survivors, along with basic materials such as soap, blankets, clothes and bottles of water as an initial response" explained Maggie Boyer, WV staffer in Haiti.
Read latest updates about World Vision’s response and children sponsored by Australians here.
You can donate to the Haiti earthquake appeal here.