Haiti Disaster Relief Giving Guide+

The recent Haiti earthquake comes as a perfect storm of disaster for an already suffering nation. While we are not a disaster response organization, we know that many friends of LOTI are eager to give generously and wisely to help in this relief effort. Thus, we have consulted LOTI contacts that have disaster relief expertise and are on the ground and can be trusted, to gather information on how we might best support those in need. To assist you in deciding how to give wisely, we have compiled a brief list of guidelines and recommendations.

General guidelines for giving* (From Texas in Africa, 2010):

  1. Donate to organizations with an established presence, quickly. The ability to charter helicopters, buy tarps, and distribute water is eased considerably if the organization has cash in hand.
  2. Work with organizations that have local staff in leadership positions and who are empowered to make quick decisions on the ground
  3. Work with organizations that partner with local social institutions, like houses of worship or community organizations. These groups' social networks and language skills mean that they are quickly able to identify specific problems and solutions, make lists of victims, and respond to traumatized populations in culturally-relevant ways.

Now or later?

We see merit in both supporting immediately, as well as waiting for the dust to settle and providing support in the future. Many are inclined to give immediately, so itís helpful for some people to wait and assist in the long-term.

  • For folks who want to give and have an impact now, we recommend supporting Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health because both have in-country staff, strong in-country relationships, and a fantastic track record. MSF was already an important part of Haitiís healthcare infrastructure, so they are a strong candidate for our support.
  • For the long-term, we suggest Catholic Relief Services and Architecture for Humanity. CRS has been in Haiti for 50 years and will likely be one of the long-term recovery partners (in addition to crisis response right now). Giving them some support on the front end will make their planning for the next year better. AFH will be focused on the rebuilding effort.

Large or small?

Many large organizations like Red Cross and World Vision, as well as several smaller organizations are each doing good work. However, keep in mind that smaller organizations are often more nimble, and can support the efforts of larger organizations once the bigger organizationsí capacity has been reached. Certainly your support for both will be helpful.

Again, we encourage you to give generously and to pray faithfully with us for the nation of Haiti during this tragic time. Feel free to contact LOTI at info@lotint.org with additional helpful information.

+ LOTI does not partner with or benefit from any contributions made to the orginizations listed on this page.
* NOTE: This information was taken from the Texas in Africa Blog - http://texasinafrica.blogspot.com/