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HAITI EARTHQUAKE Disaster Response


Haiti Earthquake: Tragedy Engulfs Poverty

On January 12th, 2010, a powerful earthquake rocked the impoverished nation of Haiti. The earthquake measured 7.0 on the Richter scale, approximately 17km south-west of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. The quake hit the following regions the hardest: Petit Goave, Leogane, Gressier, Carrefour and Port-au-Prince, crushing thousands of infrastructures and cutting off communication services. The destructive force of the Haiti earthquake and the human tragedy left in its wake was truly devastating. Flattened homes, burnt bodies, orphaned children; leaving millions of the poor Caribbean nation without water, shelter and aid. The living were severely injured, left homeless and displaced, while the dead bodies remained strewn across the streets and in between the rubble for weeks. The unfortunate earthquake was the strongest to hit Haiti in over 200 years. More than 250,000 have died, over 300,000 wounded and 1.9 million homeless; affecting a total of 3 million Haitians. The exact death toll remains unknown. Plagued with frequent natural disasters, Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, as over half the population lives in extreme poverty. Officials and citizens of Haiti struggle to comprehend the extent of the catastrophe. People are sheltered in makeshift tents, and the majority took refuge on the streets.

A request for emergency humanitarian assistance...


Sophie Carrefour Gressier


...a nation in crisis.

Humanity First is an international non-profit humanitarian organization established to provide assistance to the less fortunate and to improve the quality of life in Canada and underprivileged countries across the globe.
Humanity Firsts aim is to promote and safeguard the preservation of human life and dignity. Aid is provided to the vulnerable on the basis of need, irrespective of race, religion, culture or political allegiance. With thousands of non-paid volunteers across the globe, and low cost sourcing and partnerships, Humanity First is able to run with minimal overheads, delivering more than 93% of the donations directly to those in need. Humanity First began in the early 1990s, and today it contains branches covering Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. Operating out of 31 countries across the globe, Humanity First is alleviating human suffering and pain through its local and international programs. Humanity First is a registered charity in Canada and a non-governmental organization that is supported by voluntary contributions from individuals, businesses and foundations. Humanity First has been granted a special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Chairmans Message
It was early evening and I was about to go home, the phone rang. It was Mr. Munum Naeem, Chairman of Humanity First USA, asking me if I had heard about the earthquake in Haiti. I replied that I had not, and immediately checked the news on the web. Sketchy reports about a 7.0 Richter earthquake wrenched my belly while I scrambled for the phone numbers of our Humanity First team in Haiti. For next two days, I dialed the Haitian numbers countless times without success. Shrugging off the worst fears and relying on the media reports, Humanity First decided to send the first disaster response team to Haiti. Without any local contact, directions or familiarity with the land, the team left for Haiti. Sending off the team of 12 aid workers in such a short notice appeared to be a pretty good achievement. But little did we know at that time that this would be only a beginning of a massive relief effort in response to the deadliest earthquake in Haiti in 200 years! For the coming weeks and months, every other week dozens of volunteers would travel to Haiti with only one thought and one goal humanity needs us! We must respond to relieve human suffering! Now is the time! For them nothing was more important than helping the wounded and displaced.

Every volunteer of Humanity First wanted to make the difference. It did not matter if that meant treating patient, cooking food, distributing relief supplies or just helping the needy with words of compassion. The worry about getting enough volunteers was unfounded. The response was overwhelming! Hundreds of volunteers immediately registered to go to Haiti and donations started pouring. While volunteers from USA, UK and Canada travelled to Haiti to provide relief, other volunteers from around the world helped in fund raising. Humanity First team on the ground worked day and night providing medical help, distributing relief supplies and making a difference in the lives of devastated Haitians. Our volunteers slept on the roads, survived on noodles and granola bars, pulled water from wells, climbed mountains to reach the wounded, walked miles to reach remote areas and worked 20 hours a day. At the same time, volunteers at the command center in Vaughan, Ontario Canada worked countless hours round the clock to provide logistical and administrative support and also raised funds to continue the relief work. Daily international conference calls, coordinating teams from USA, UK and Canada, twice daily briefing of team on the ground, preparations to send the next team and receiving the returning team became a daily routine. For weeks, we did not know if there was anything else in the world!

Humanity First Medical Camps were always crowded with patients. The news of our mobile camps traveled faster than fire while our doctors, nurses, paramedics and logistics teams worked like machines. Their priority was to provide help in every possible way! Humanity Fist made the difference. A poor nation further devastated by the disaster needed the very help we offered. Humanity First was there before the disaster, continued to help during the acute phase of the disaster and will be there as long as Haiti needs our help. Tens of thousands of people benefitted from the relief effort of estimated value of more than $1.2 million! We present this souvenir to our volunteers as a memory to cherish for life time, to everyone as a reminder that humanity needs us every now and then and we present this souvenir to you as a promise that Humanity First will be there during those moments. With a heart filled with gratitude for all our donors, supporters and our dedicated volunteers, we invite you to continue putting first!

Dr. Aslam Daud Chairman Humanity First Canada

Before the Earthquake... Humanity First in Haiti: Bridging the Gap Between Poverty & Prosperity
Building of this bridge helped improve the lives of more than 14,000 people.
Humanity First has been active in Haiti since 2007 working to bridge the gap between poverty and prosperity. Even before the January 2010 earthquake, Humanity First was providing relief to victims of hurricanes and flooding. It has provided both short term relief assistance and also worked on long term projects to alleviate poverty and human suffering. When disastrous tropical storms regularly sweep through Haiti, causing dangerous mudslides and flooding, that results in substantial material damage and loss of human life, Humanity First provides both immediate and long-term relief in disaster stricken areas. During the relief operations, short-term and longterm aid was provided to the displaced and disaster victims, including emergency medical aid, food, water, clothing, household items and other relief supplies. Education being an essential tool for the well being of children and our future, Humanity First took the initiative to distribute school supplies and backpacks to help the children get back to school as quickly as possible. Long-term efforts focused on rehabilitation and rebuilding projects, including the construction of a bridge in the severely affected Town of Torbeck. The village of LaHatte in Torbeck is isolated from other cities and after every rainy season or when a disaster strikes, the villagers are completely cut off from the mainland for months. Built to allow easy access and transport for the villagers, the Humanity First bridge was inaugurated in August 2009 by the Chairman of Humanity First. The bridge will continue to have a long-term impact on the community, providing poverty stricken families a better way of living; offering them an opportunity to gain employment and income. In the past a sick person could not be carried to the hospital because there was no way to cross the river. This bridge will enable us to take the sick to hospital and children can also go to school.

Dr. Aslam Daud, Chairm at the inauguratio an, Humanity First Canada, n ceremony of the bridge.

January 12, 2010


Remains of a da maged, home after bein earthquake struck g torn in half.

A plead for he lp a wall: S.O.S. draped across We need help !

An earthquake victims leg dangles from the roof of a destructed home.

Haitians scrounge through the rubble of a collapsed building to clear dead bodies.

A family sits outside of their destructed home with no choice but to wait.

International search and rescue teams arrive to search for survivors.

Local Huma nity Fir st staf f in Haiti i m m e d i at e ly r esponded ...

Humanity First


Humanity First was one of the first organizations to respond after the powerful earthquake struck Haiti. In over two months since the earthquake, Humanity First has reached more than 50,000 Haitians with food, water, relief supplies, medical services, sanitation and shelter. The Humanity First Disaster Response team, consisting of doctors, paramedics, nurses, aid workers and logistical support staff have been working endlessly to provide emergency relief and medical assistance to the survivors of the earthquake, as hundreds of thousands of Haitians cope with the loss of family members and loved ones. The Humanity First office in Port-au-Prince remained standing without any damage after the earthquake, although nearby buildings and homes were destroyed and demolished. The main medical clinic operated from the Humanity First office in

Port-au-Prince, and mobile camps were set up in remote areas of Port-au-Prince such as Da Da Duo and Sophie, as well as outside Port-au-Prince in Carrefour and Seguin as these were the primary locations in need of assistance. Hundreds of disaster response members from various professions and expertise provided medical care and aid as Humanity First responders, coordinating relief efforts with local Humanity First volunteers. Volunteers came from various provinces throughout Canada, distant states across America and over the seas from United Kingdom in order to respond to the crisis in Haiti. Thousands of Aquaboxes containing water purification kits, tools, cooking utensils and a variety of relief supplies were distributed to help protect Haitians from deadly water-borne diseases and provide essential welfare items. Humanity First and partner agencies worked in collaboration with the UN to distribute food and water, reaching thousands of Haitians every day.

Facts at a Glance:
In the three months since the earthquake, Humanity First has:
Provided relief to more than 50,000 people Distributed 2300 Aquaboxes (containing water purification kits and essential items) Assisted in distributing meals to more than 8,000 people Treated over 22,000 patients (at the Humanity First Clinic, Mobile Camps and Hospitals) New and used clothing provided to hundreds of people Food, diapers and other essential items provided to Orphanages Water purification kits, toys and other essential items provided to school children Coordinated the shipment of tons of medical supplies Deployed over 150 responders to Haiti (Doctors, fire fighters, paramedics, nurses,
logistics and security personnel)

More than 300 volunteers supported the relief work remotely from safe zones Hundreds of volunteers worked around the clock, putting in thousands of hours Local unemployed Haitians were given employment Provided relief efforts valuing more than 1.2 million dollars


r Response Camp Humanity First Disaste or of Gressier. Manager comforts May

Humanity First Disaster Response Team arrives in Haiti aboard the UN Humanitarian Services airplane.


A Humanity First aid worker treats an

Humanity First doctors treat their first of many patients during the first night at Jimani Hospital.

The roads were damaged and blocked with crowds of people, dead bodies and fallen buildings.

injured womans leg.

Volunteers load medical equipment and supplies for shipment to Haiti.

An injured woman lies in a make shift bed while receiving medical care by Humanity First doctors outside the Humanity First Clinic.

Humanity First aid worker cares for a baby while mother receives treatment.

Doctors and paramedics con tinued to reach an average of 150 people a week with medical assistance, emergency relief suppli throughout Port-au-Prince and outlying areas.

There was no medical care in Haiti. If the clinic was not would not get any treatment as they cannot afford to p

00 ies.

A mother ho lds on to he Humanity Fir st doctors ex r suffering child as amine his am putated leg.

t there, many of these people pay to go to a hospital.


Humanity First aid worke Haitian girl suffe r provides comfort to a little ring from severe burns.

t for a M ts up a ten st team se arrefour. Fir Humanity Camp in C


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Humanity Fir

st doctors an d aid to Haitians in workers provide treatm en jured from th e devastating t from their Mobile Cam p earthquake.

The situation was such that medical assistance and aid was greatly required to tend to the wounded, including severe traumas, head wounds, crushed limbs and other severe medical problems.


Haitians await assistance outside of their city...a place they call home.

Mother of a young patient seeks medical help from Humanity First nurse.

Chairman, Dr. Aslam Daud and Camp Manager, Waleed Khan take a break while overseeing operation the Humanity First Mobile Medical Camp in Gressie

r tent

Smiles of appreciation and hope.

ns at er.

Humanity First doctors and aid workers worked non-stop for very long hours.


A heart-warming smile despite the horrendous aftermath of the earthquake.

geon dic Sur rthope t wound. tO ity Firs g foo Human ges a bleedin a band

Humanity First doctor breaks for a photo op with his young patients.

Humanity First Chairman provides medical care for an injured Haitian woman.

Thank you for helping us in this difficult time. We cant believe that you all have come from so far to help us!


Post-traumatic care was the main focus of the Medical Camp.

Media personnel interview Humanity First doct volunteers at the Humanity First Medical Clinic in Po

dire Theretowas a with need deal

Despite deep wounds, loss of muscles and increasing chances of amputation, Humanity First doctors helped in saving both arms of this victim who was trapped under the rubble of her home.

tors and ort-au-Prince.

post-operative care, particularly for amputees. There is still a lot of work to treat infected open fractures a n d patients w i t h chronic conditions.


An elderly woman and her grandson smile while patiently awaiting distribution of supplies.

For Humanity First volunteers, it is not their business to help people...for them, it is a pleasure to be able to help! Everyone of us indulge in the service to humanity with great passion!

A Haitian girl lines up to receive clothing donated by Humanity First donors across the globe.

Humanity First aid workers assist UN with water distribution.


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Villagers who were already living in poor conditions have now their homes, forcing them to live in make-shift shelters under sheet tents, propped up by sticks.

ool, as the its local sch efforts hairman vis C erm manity First ission shifts to long-t nation. izations m arthquake damaged rgan the e to stabilize

Children o

f a local sc hool in Humanity Sophie, break out in First truck to full of relie song at the arrival of the f supplies.

The earthquake took the lives of many Haitians, separating families and orphaning children. Supporting children is an essential part of the Humanity First mandate, as they are the essence of a bright future. Smiles of happiness, voices of joy and echoes of laughter filled the small room of an orphanage as Humanity First volunteers arrived carrying relief supplies. The life-saving water purification kits provided water for those children who lost their families in the devastating earthquake, along with other villagers from Sophie. Located in the small village of Sophie outside of Port-au-Prince, the orphanage is operating as a school for these children as well. Humanity First was able to acquire water filtration units for clean water and also coordinated to get a larger unit for Da Da Duo camp, currently serving 7,000 residents.

w lost r bed


Humanity First distributed more than 1,600 Aquaboxes. The Aquaboxes were provided by Derbyshire Rotary Club Charity, supported by the Derby Telegraph in UK. The lack of clean and safe water supply due to a disaster creates an ideal breeding-ground for water-borne diseases and serious dehydration. The Haitians suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake disaster needed immediate access to clean water, making the Aquabox the perfect solution. Aquabox provides a rapid solution for safe drinking water along with survival items to the victims of natural disasters. Aquabox can be used to purify up to 1100 litres of polluted water, making it safe and pleasant to drink, serving a family of four for up to four months. The box also comes packed with various relief supplies including tools, cooking equipment and hygiene items. The Aquabox is comprised of three simple components: a 75 litre plastic container, a
Humanity Firs t volunteers prior to distribu gather for a team meeting tion of Aquabox es.

reusable carbon activated filter and a dispensing tap. The container is filled with whatever water can be found locally and is initially strained manually through a filter. A purification tablet is then added, and after two hours, potable water may be drawn through the filter and tap, providing clean and safe water. The simple and user friendly Aquabox was distributed by Humanity First aid workers, along with a step by step demonstration on how to filter the water.

lean and access to c , providing top priority. re a medical ca Along with nking water remained safe dri

Humanity F irst vo orphanages lunteers load Aquabo xe and schools in Gressier, s for distribution to Port-au-Pri nce.

Humanity First aid worker demonstrates how to use the Aquabox filtration system to get clean drinking water.


Humanity First team prepares for another day of Aquabox distribution.

A woman smiles as she carries her Aquabox after waiting in a long queue.

E w

A beneficiary puts the Aquabox to work for his family.

Humanity First Chairman assists with the dispersal of relief supplies.

Each Aquabox contains a water purification kit, bucket, survival bag and a selection of the following:
toothpaste 4 toothbrushes 3 soaps pack of cotton wool bandages fabric dressings razors sanitary pads kitchen roll hairbrush/comb antiseptic cream safety pins 2 tea towels drinking mug baby cup Vaseline 1 cooking pot 4 knives 4 forks 4 spoons 1 serving spoon 4 mugs 2 bowls 4 plates scissors can opener food bags torch and batteries sewing thread needles tape measure candles matches doll frisbee skipping rope football and pump cards dominos tennis balls modeling clay colour pencils paper rubble sacks ball of string insulation tape reading glasses clothes line pegs hammer packs of nails pliers folding knife garden wire screwdriver screws brick trowel hand trowel tarpaulin saw shopping bag children and baby clothing

Essential items such as cooking pots, tools, washing powder and clothes were packed into each Aquabox for distribution.

Rebuilding a Shattered Nation


Haiti, a country designated as one of the 50 least developed countries in the world, suffered from damage and destruction that will set back its progress and efforts to come out of poverty. A country with a very primitive education infrastructure lost thousands of schools in the January earthquake. Humanity First believes that education is vital to raising children out of a cycle of poverty, with the provision of knowledge and skills needed to enhance their future and open doors for employment. After the initial disaster response, Humanity Firsts mission in Haiti has shifted towards stabilization and recovery to support the survivors in the years ahead. Currently, Haitians are living in tents and temporary shacks made of sticks, bound together and covered with bed sheets and plastic. In terms of the rehabilitation phase, we have been working on education and infrastructure projects in Haiti for 3 years, and expect to focus on these areas for a very long time whilst the country gets back on its feet, said Dr. Aslam Daud, Chairman of Humanity First. Humanity First will continue to provide medical assistance, along with basic relief supplies and work towards rebuilding vital infrastructure for Haitians, which could include establishing the many services that communities require to function, including establishing water and sanitation systems, building schools and orphanages, and creating a medical facility.

Our longer term objectives would be to help Haiti stand on their own feet, but this will take years of effort.


Humanity Fir

st volunteers slept in te on the stree nts and cooked food ts.

The Humanity First office in Port-au-Prince survived the earthquake, while nearby buildings and homes were destroyed and demolished.

Humanity First volunteers braved the most basic living conditions, they slept on the floor and pulled water from a nearby well. There was no electricity in the area!

Humanity First recruited local volunteers to assist in the distribution of aid.

The Humanity First team worked around the clock with minimum sleep.


With scores of volunteers on the ground in Haiti, a larger group of Humanity First volunteers worked endlessly behind the scenes, away from the disaster; no less exhausting or challenging than the team on the ground at the base camp. Volunteers at the command centre provided logistical and administrative support. Preparation of travel arrangements, replenishing emergency relief supplies, teleconferences and meetings, media briefings and developing reports were some of the countless number of tasks of volunteers who worked very hard remotely, from across Canada, United States of America and United Kingdom. In addition, hundreds assisted with fundraising in more than 33 countries.



Regina Toronto

Montreal Ottawa

General of Haiti), Justin Trudeau, Honorable Jean Augustine, and Honorable Jim Kariygiannis. Live accounts were presented by Humanity First Disaster Response volunteers who recently returned from the earthquake zone in Haiti. The primary focus of these events was to create awareness of the plight of the earthquake victims and paint the picture of the ongoing crisis, so that people can participate in the most noble cause of relieving human suffering and saving lives. Humanity First thanks all their donors and sponsors who donated generously, and wholeheartedly helped the Haitian victims in every way possible.

Humanity First successfully held fundraising events in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary and Regina within a two week period, to raise funds to support earthquake relief operations in Haiti. Humanity First volunteers organized these large scale events with great zeal and dedication, within a short period of time. In addition to local supporters and businesses, politicians and professionals graced the event, including Dr. Eric Pierre (Honorary Counsel

A Sincere Thanks to Our Supporters!

Thank you to all the volunteers, donors and supporters who devoted their time and efforts to assist the Haitian victims who were left hungry, homeless and devastated by the Haiti earthquake. Due to your ongoing contributions and support for the Humanity First Disaster Response, Humanity First was able to respond to the crisis in Haiti, prior to receiving donations for the Haiti Relief Fund. Haiti still needs your help! You can help the victims of the Haiti disaster by making a financial gift to Humanity First. With your support, Humanity First will provide continue to provide relief and long-term support to those affected by disasters across the world. Please support Humanity First as we continue with long-term relief efforts in disaster stricken areas, and also as we prepare for the next emergency. To donate, please contact us via: Tel: 416.440.0346 Email: info@humanityfirst.ca Web: www.humanityfirst.ca For further updates and to follow Humanity First in Haiti, please visit www.humanityfirst.ca/haiti
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