Tuesday 31 August 2021 6:00 am

Haiti needs our help after another devastating earthquake

The City of London Corporation will be donating £25,000 donation to the British Red Cross for its Haiti Earthquake Appeal – and we’re urging other City organisations to also show their support.

While the ongoing situation in Afghanistan has captivated the world’s attention, there has been less awareness around the humanitarian crisis on the other side of the world.

The 7.2-magnitude quake, centred on the Caribbean nation’s south-western peninsula, struck on August 14, resulting in over 2,200 people losing their lives, 12,000 left injured and 13,000 homes destroyed or damaged.

It is the latest blow to strike a country facing enormous economic, social and humanitarian challenges; one which is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake centred on Port-au-Prince, which killed more than 200,000.

Mercifully, the fact the latest quake struck much further from the densely-populated capital means casualties are significantly lower than the last quake. The impact, however, is no less shattering for the victims.

Thousands of Haitians are forced to sleep on the streets, where they must brave aftershocks and the torrential rain which lashes down upon the country’s shores at this time of year.

The City of London and the businesses within it have a proud tradition of philanthropy dating back to the middle ages, and today the City Corporation gives out significant sums of money each year, including over £25 million annually to good causes across London through our charity funder, City Bridge Trust.

It’s only right that, as an organisation with a global outlook, our philanthropic reach should extend beyond these shores, and we should play our part in helping relief of major disasters, wherever in the world they strike.

Our International Disasters Fund was set up for this very purpose, and its most recent donation will contribute to the urgent relief effort currently underway in Haiti.

The Red Cross is working tirelessly on the ground, in exceptionally difficult conditions, to provide temporary shelter to those made homeless, restoring water and sanitation facilities and providing medical and psychological support to those affected.

They face an unenviable task, hampered by tropical storms and damage caused by the earthquake to critical infrastructure, including the road network and hospitals.

The situation in Haiti is critical, the clock is ticking and more money is urgently needed to support the vital work being carried out by Red Cross staff and volunteers.

It’s often said that charity begins at home, but I believe rich, developed countries such as ours, fortunate to avoid the extremes of the natural world which impact upon lands such as Haiti, have a responsibility to help out where we can when humanitarian crisis looms.

Times are hard for all of us as we continue to recover from the Covid pandemic, but I would urge other City organisations, businesses and individuals that are able to do so to play their part in supporting the relief effort by donating to the British Red Cross appeal.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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