Last year was one of challenges and tragedies for the people of Haiti, as well as for those throughout the world who lost loved ones, friends, and colleagues. But, it was also a year that glistened with hope as generous donations by United Methodists and others enabled UMCOR and its partners to effectively respond to the immediate needs of those affected by the Haiti earthquake on January 12, 2010.
The timeline that follows reflects some of the progressive signs of hope over 2010, and how your generous gifts have made significant strides in bringing relief to the most vulnerable. United Methodists are encouraged to continue to support this work with your gifts and prayers as the rebuilding and rehabilitation work continues in Haiti.
- The Rev. Sam Dixon, top executive of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), UMCOR consultant, Jim Gulley, and Clint Rabb, head of Global Ministries’ mission volunteers, travel to Haiti to attend meetings with Église Méthodiste d’Haiti (EMH, the Methodist Church of Haiti), and other partners, including Sarla Chand, Rick Santos and Ann Varghese from IMA World Health to improve health ministries in Haiti.
- On January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocks the impoverished nation. The earthquake affects more than three million people, displaces more than one million, and kills about 300,000 people. The earthquake, which hit 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, is believed to be the worst disaster to hit the region in about 200 years. It was followed by several aftershocks, one measuring as high as 6.1 on the Richter scale seven minutes after the earthquake.
- UMCOR channels its resources to respond effectively to people most in need by working with partners ACT Alliance, Church World Service, GlobalMedic, and EMH.
- UMCOR and mission volunteers lose their leaders, the Rev. Sam Dixon and the Rev. Clint Rabb, as a result of injuries sustained in the earthquake.
- UMCOR receives more than $2 million in donations just eight days after the earthquake. The agency provides emergency grants to EMH and others to address immediate needs.
- UMCOR grants* $20,000 to GlobalMedic to help distribute six million packets of PUR water packets donated by Procter & Gamble, along with Aquatabs and water filters. GlobalMedic deploys paramedics, water technicians, and a doctor to assist the sick or injured. A water distribution hub provides 65,000 people daily with clean drinking water. Working through local nongovernmental organizations, GlobalMedic also distributes 110,000 sachets of PUR water purifiers and 110,000 oral rehydration sachets.
- UMCOR partner Church World Service distributes relief kits and blankets in Port-au-Prince, and GlobalMedic brings in water and sanitation equipment.
- Eight days after the earthquake, Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR’s International Disaster Response executive, leads an assessment team with UMCOR-NGO executive Sharad Aggarwal and Edgar Avitia Legarda, Global Ministries’ executive. The team gathers in the Dominican Republic before entering Haiti on Jan. 21 to assess emergency needs.
- United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) begins to organize future volunteer work teams to assist in shelter and reconstruction work.
- UMCOR works with EMH and UMVIM to establish an arrangement whereby US volunteers serve in Haiti without displacing Haitian workers in need of a recovery job. Under the arrangement, for every US volunteer on a project, two Haitians are at work. The first UMVIM teams are dispatched in May.
- Texas mission leader the Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey of Houston is appointed to serve UMCOR as the Haiti relief liaison between conferences and volunteers in carrying out UMCOR’s relief strategy.
- UMCOR partners Bahamas Methodist Habitat and Catholic Medical Mission Board transport and deliver 24,240 Sager Brown health kits. UMCOR Sager Brown facilitates an additional shipment of 8,000 health and school kits from its relief supply depot to Haiti.
- Bahamas Methodist Habitat conducts 12 flights per day through its Fly In & Help Out mission program, transporting much needed medical supplies into and evacuating people out of Haiti for medical assistance.
- UMCOR distributes food packages to families in Mellier, a rural town outside of Port-au-Prince, as Haitian Methodist volunteers distribute rice and beans to more than 160 vulnerable families who have not received emergency assistance.
- Second Early Response Team establishes Haiti Mission by recruiting staff, procuring office equipment and vehicles, and participating in United Nations cluster meetings.
- First United Methodist Church of Flushing, Queens gives $60,000 toward UMCOR relief efforts in Haiti. The gift is made in honor of the late Rev. Sam Dixon.
- UMCOR”s Justice for Our Neighbors ministry helps Haitian immigrants register for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the US to allow Haitian immigrants to live and work to support their family members still in Haiti.
- UMCOR develops a strategic five-year recovery plan that anticipates three phases of recovery — emergency, recovery, and rehabilitation.
- Great outpouring of solidarity with Haiti from United Methodists and friends is felt across the US through numerous church supported benefit concerts and fundraisers. Supporters contribute a total of more than $12 million to UMCOR’s Haiti recovery work, as well as the components for more than 350,000 health kits.
- UMCOR partner agencies, Church World Service and other members of ACT Alliance assist more than 150,000 Haitians with immediate needs. Church World Service provides more than 31,000 hygiene kits, some 5,400 baby care kits, and about 4,000 blankets. Through IMA World Health, the agency provides 60 boxes of medical supplies.
- UMCOR grants $50,000 to ACT Alliance for emergency and recovery aid to Haitian communities.
- UMCOR grants $90,000 to UMVIM to create infrastructure for the managing and fielding of UMVIM teams to provide humanitarian assistance
- UMCOR hires Head of Mission for the office in Port-au-Prince and a Haiti Desk Officer to work at the New York City headquarters.
- Additional UMCOR grants go to EMH, Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI), and Global Health Action (GHA) to support on-the-ground relief efforts.
- UMVIM registers 2,000 volunteers to support Haiti recovery efforts.
- Generous contributions total more than $13.8 million.
- About a dozen health organizations send representatives to UMCOR’s New York City headquarters on March 11 to brainstorm long-term strategies to address important issues related to health in post-earthquake Haiti.
- UMCOR Refugee Ministry works with Church World Service resettlement affiliates in Atlanta, Tampa, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston to identify Haitians evacuated to the US for medical care, and to offer temporary housing for those released from medical facilities. An UMCOR grant of $30,000 facilitates this work.
- The Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey is named UMCOR’s new Deputy General Secretary, replacing the late Rev. Sam Dixon. Harvey, a pastor from Texas, comes to UMCOR with a background in international health ministries, domestic disaster relief, and organizational management.
- UMCOR directors approve $10.5 million of funding for the “Helping Haiti Rebuild” project designed to help the earthquake-affected population recover and rebuild in the larger Port-au-Prince area.
- UMCOR directors approve a $565,000, six-month grant for UMVIM to create an infrastructure for managing and fielding volunteer teams for disaster recovery.
- Shelter, rebuilding community infrastructure, providing education, promoting health, and returning people to their livelihood are identified as the primary focus by UMCOR Executive Melissa Crutchfield during the General Board of Global Ministries’ April board meeting.
- UMCOR approves a grant to support Grace Children’s Hospital operating expenses for six months to allow it to continue to bring specialized care to children suffering from tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and chronic respiratory diseases.
- UMCOR grants EMH $20,895.86 to procure and ship 12 large tents (30’ in diameter) to be used as temporary classrooms in preparation for the rainy season.
- UMCOR Health executives Patricia Magyar and Bridget Hayes spend a week in Haiti assessing health needs. The executives visit Grace Children’s Hospital, Hospital Bienfaisance, Curamericas, and Global Health Action, and visit projects run by Healing Hands and MediShare.
- UMCOR donations exceed $17.8 million, 20 percent of donations are given through the online channel.
- UMVIM registers 3,000 individuals to volunteer for future work team assignments in Haiti.
- An emergency grant of $15,000 goes to the Methodist Women of Haiti for food and tents for women and vulnerable people in remote areas such as Olivier, Yvon, Carrenage, Fonduoux, and Bois.
- Twelve Yurt-Dome tents valued at $20,896 (including airfreight) and that will provide temporary classroom space for 50 students each are delivered to Port-au-Prince. In spite of repeated efforts by agents of the EMH, the tents are not released from customs until August.
- An international coalition of Methodist and ecumenical church groups holds a roundtable with EMH to address long-term development objectives for Haiti recovery. Representatives from UMCOR, Global Ministries’ Women Division, Mission and Evangelism, and Mission Volunteers meet with representatives from the Methodist Church in Haiti, the Iglesia Evangélica Dominicana (IED), the United Church in Canada (UCC), and via conference call, the Methodist Church in Britain (MCB), and the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to discuss EMH's priorities. The roundtable continues an effort that began the morning of the earthquake.
- A six-month pilot project focusing on housing, health, education, and pastoral services gets under way. The UMCOR grant of $565,000 approved for UMVIM in April supports six months of the work. The project is derived from meetings among representatives of the Methodist Church in Haiti, UMCOR, and UMVIM.
- UMCOR sets up emergency classroom tents for six primary schools in Tabarre Issa and the primary school in Corail Camp.
- Generous donations tally more than $33 million towards UMCOR’s relief and recovery work.
- Although 750,000 health kits are donated, shipping, warehousing, customs, and ground transportation present challenges for distribution.
- UMCOR staff meets in Haiti with more than 25 leaders of the EMH to strategize long-term development in the Caribbean nation. Circuit superintendents, lay members, representatives from Global Ministries, United Church of Canada, and The Methodist Church of Great Britain are in attendance. Health, education, micro-enterprise, and agriculture are identified as priorities for Haiti.
- United Methodists and other faithful supporters donate more than $40 million since the day of the earthquake.
- UMCOR grants EMH $97,646.15 to fund the management and implementation of relief projects and covers the salaries for the church’s Relief Coordinator, Financial Manager, Engineer, and Administrative Assistant for one year. A four-week cash-for-work program to remove rubble is part of the funding.
- UMCOR approves a $91,257 grant to the Florida Annual Conference to support Haitian Emergency Assistance Location (HEAL), which provides advocacy, legal counsel and support services to Haitians living in South Florida following the earthquake.
- UMCOR hires a church liaison who deploys to Port-au-Prince to collaborate with EMH on initiatives deriving from the collaborative long-term development meeting held in June in Haiti.
- UMCOR approves a $99,000 grant to International Child Care to train rehabilitation specialists and to provide rehabilitative care at Grace Children’s Hospital.
- UMVIM’s Haiti Response Plan hosts 25 UMVIM teams in Haiti and schedules an additional 60 teams by year’s end.
- UMCOR provides funding support to Haitian Artisans for Peace International to provide water filters for health clinic and support health clinic staff.
- UMCOR works with UMVIM to recruit a long-term Health Volunteer for deployment to Haiti.
- Twelve Yurt-Dome tents released to EMH serve as temporary classroom space.
- UMCOR addresses a number of additional complications that relief organizations face, such as logistics and identifying a stable supply chain; recruiting and retaining effective personnel; resolving issues of land tenure so that rebuilding can begin; and managing the expectations of the church, donors, volunteers, and partners.
- UMCOR grants $17,770 to the EMH for a four-module microcredit training for women in Petit-Goâve.
- UMCOR staff, Rev. Gesner Paul of EMH, and delegates from the Methodist Church in Ireland, visit Corail, where nine UMCOR-supported transitional school buildings are scheduled to be built in time for the 2010 – 2011 school year.
- GBGM provides $10,000 in scholarship funds to EMH. The scholarships are distributed among five students to attend university in Port-au-Prince.
- UMCOR directors approve a $292,540 proposal to implement an emergency agricultural assistance project that helps EMH to further develop agricultural capacity and provides farmers with livestock and crop production assistance.
- UMCOR board supports a $3,094,500 three-year Haiti Response Plan proposed by UMVIM.
- UMCOR strengthens EMH’s disaster response infrastructure and builds an interdisciplinary team to work with EMH and other partners to implement a multifaceted approach for long-term development that includes livelihoods, shelter, and water and sanitation, agriculture, education, and microenterprise programs.
- UMCOR works through existing programs like the Haiti Hot Lunch program, a program of EMH, to evaluate and strengthen its existing feeding program. UMCOR provides salary support for the Haiti Hot Lunch Coordinator to evaluate and report on the current status of the Hot Lunch program in EMH schools across Haiti.
- UMCOR commits to reconstruct Nouveau College Bird, the flagship school of the Methodist Church in Haiti at the college’s 50th Anniversary celebration.
- On behalf of UMCOR, UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services) completes construction of nine school buildings in the Corail resettlement camp in Haiti. The schools provide safe learning environments for 710 children displaced by the earthquake.
- UMCOR equips tent schools in Tabarre and the schools in Corail Camp with school furniture.
- UMCOR commits $51,175 to partner Global Health Action to help Haiti rebuild a stronger and more effective community-based health care system in Léogâne District of Haiti.
- UMCOR grants $99,000 to International Child Care to continue providing operational support at Grace Children’s Hospital.
- Hurricane Tomas sweeps through Haiti on Nov. 5 causing flooding in low-lying areas. The storm exacerbates a cholera threat for Haitian communities.
- UMCOR grants Global Health Action $15,000 for a two-month rapid response cholera prevention program in Léogâne District.
- A portion of health kits in Haiti from UMCOR Sager Brown Relief Depot are redirected from the original distribution plan to the St. Marc/Archaie Circuit in response to the cholera outbreak.
- By late November, more than 1,751 Haitians die of cholera in Haiti, according to the Ministry of Public Health and Population.
- UMCOR’s new Head of Mission Juan Carlos Real begins working in Haiti.
- UMCOR approves a grant to partner GlobalMedic to deploy a Rapid Response Team to Haiti to provide water purification units to families in the greater Port-au-Prince area who have been affected by cholera.
- UMCOR, The Methodist Church of Britain, and the United Church of Canada partner to provide funding to EMH to support university scholarships for some 33 students over the course of their three-year studies.
- Through partner organization YWCA, UMCOR funds a psychosocial support and education program.
- UMCOR approves a grant of $200,000 to EMH for the reconstruction of two schools in Bois Gency and Hyacinthe, located near Petit-Goâve. The schools, which were destroyed during the earthquake, will be reconstructed with earthquake-resistant materials and benefit 418 students. UMCOR's funds match $200,000 provided by a Swiss partner, ASAH (Swiss Friends of Haiti), who initiated the project.
- The Haitian Ministry of Health reports 2,535 deaths and 58,190 hospitalizations due to the cholera outbreak. By December 14, the overall case fatality rate is 2.2 percent nationwide.
* This timeline does not reflect all funding support provided by UMCOR for Haiti recovery.