CRS Commits $5 Million to Haiti’s Quake Survivor Relief

Baltimore, MD, January 13, 2010– Catholic Relief Services is readying food and other aid to help families affected by a powerful earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12. CRS has committed an initial $5 million (US) to help survivors of the devastating quake.

“This is a massive disaster,” says CRS’ Country Representative in Haiti, Karel Zelenka. “We should be prepared for thousands and thousands of dead and injured.” In a brief call on Tuesday night before phones went down, Zelenka described clouds of smoke surrounding Port-au-Prince and said, “I’ve experienced earthquakes before, but I never felt anything like this. This is a major hit. And it was direct.”

While the CRS office in Port-au-Prince is undamaged, a building directly across from it collapsed. CRS has approximately 340 staffers in Haiti, of which 120 are in Port-au-Prince. Many staffers slept outside on Tuesday night to avoid building collapses from aftershocks.

CRS has pre-positioned food, water storage containers, bedding and other supplies in warehouses in Haiti and nearby countries. “We have to find out if the warehouses in Haiti are damaged,” says Ken Polsky, Regional Representative for CRS Latin America. “We will also move supplies there from the Dominican Republic and Miami.”

“This is going to be devastating,” says Bill Canny, Director of Emergency Operations for CRS.
“We know it’s chaos in Port-au-Prince and help is needed immediately.”

“We’re moving additional emergency staff in as quickly as possible,” continues Canny, who is leaving for Haiti today [January 13].

CRS has worked in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, for over 50 years. The country is still rebuilding from the 2008 hurricanes that left the city of Gonaives buried in 3.2 million cubic yards of mud.

How to Help:
Donate via phone: 1-877-HELP-CRS or text RELIEF to 30644
Donate online:
Write a check: Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, Maryland 21203-7090
Memo portion of check: Haiti Earthquake

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4 Responses to “CRS Commits $5 Million to Haiti’s Quake Survivor Relief”

  1. Matt O'Shea Says:

    Is there any news about the Orphanages in Port-au-Prince?

    If there is any information known on how the children and workers are doing, a family member of mine has friends there and is concerned for their safety. Please check especially on Maison Arc en Ciel (Rainbow House) orphanage and Maison d’enfants Par la Far both CRS-supported orphanages. Our prayers are with them and all the Haitian people.

    Thank you, sincerely Matt O’Shea

  2. Michael Says:

    I pray for these people, they have had more than thire share of problems. I hope and pray that they will place faith in the Lord.

  3. cynthia mcclain Says:

    While watching Fox News, on Greta VanSustren show at 10 PM tonight 1/13, She talked by audio to a woman who worked for an orphanage. She indicated that they all made it safely through the quake and this evening they were all resting in their beds. I did not catch her name. I tried looking for it on greta wire on her web site but my speakers are not working so I could not listen to the live broadcast. Greta is leaving for Haiti tomorrow. You can contact her by geta wire. Maybe she can help you. Wish I could be more help in what seems to be a helpless situation. Sincerely and good luck,
    Cindy M

  4. Nicholas Says:


    I run a translation agency and I am guessing there is need for interpreters down there with all the volunteers coming in from overseas. If you have any need of language services onsite, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Nicholas Ferreira

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