The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is sending $50,000 to the Episcopal diocese of Haiti, which has been caring for about 23,000 Haitians displaced by the powerful earthquake that struck various parts of the country on Jan. 12.
The diocesan bishop of Haiti, Jean Zache Duracin, has set up a crisis commission to respond to the needs of victims who have turned to the church for much-needed support. Meanwhile, Canadian Anglicans continue to respond to the call for donations for the victims of the earthquake that killed nearly 200,000 people and leveled most of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
PWRDF, the relief and development arm of the Anglican Church of Canada, said that as of Jan. 26, it has received $489, 193.58 in donations, not including cheques in the mail from parishes and proceeds from fundraising events.
More donations are expected as a PWRDF bulletin calling for financial support for relief efforts in Haiti is being circulated in Anglican parishes across the country this Sunday. Donations received by Feb. 12 are eligible for matching funds from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
“Food and water have started moving in Haiti as aid workers struggle to distribute goods and relief materials,” said the bulletin. PWRDF has already contributed $50,000 to relief efforts being conducted by Action by Churches Together (ACT), of which PWRDF is a member. ACT is a global alliance of church-based organizations that responds to emergencies and disasters worldwide.
“The ACT Alliance has set up tented camps in a soccer stadium in the Santa Teresa area of Petionville, offering shelter for the homeless population,” said PWRDF in it communique.
ACT has also delivered a 10,000-liter water bladder to a makeshift tent-city at a partially-destroyed school in the Pean district of Port-au-Prince.
ACT members also continue to support medical care for victims, with special emphasis on children. “Traumatized, ill and suffering loss of limbs, hundreds of children need round-the-clock care,” said a recent report on ACT’s website. ACT cited the case of six-year-old Kevine Scemoaes who was about to undergo surgery on a badly injured foot. A wall collapsed and buried the young boy as he walked through the streets of Port-au-Prince at the height of the earthquake. He managed to wriggle free but his leg was severely injured. “Kevine crawled to the middle of the street and cried for help until he was brought to the hospital,” said the report. In the same ward as Kevine is Melunda Bregar, a five-year-old girl who suffers severe head and back injuries; shock has left her unable to speak, the report added. “Her mother sits beside her praying, a copy of the New Testament with her.”
A day after the tragedy struck, the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, urged Canadian Anglicans to pray for the people of Haiti “as they struggle with such devastation and grief,” and to be generous in their support. A copy of the primate’s statement has been posted on the church’s website.
Donations to the PWRDF Appeal for Haiti can be made in various ways. On-line donations can be made by going to www.canadahelps.org and type PWRDF, which will link to its donation page where you can designate “Haiti earthquake.” For credit card donations, contact Jennifer Brown, (416) 924-9199 ext. 320; or 1-866-308-7973. Donors are advised not to send credit card numbers by email or fax. Cheques should be made payable to PWRDF, Haiti Earthquake, and mailed to: The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, The Anglican Church of Canada, 80 Hayden St., Toronto, ON, M4Y 3G2.