How to help in Haiti: thinking about women’s and reproductive health.

Erica Sackin

Like most of you, we've been following the devastating aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. Yet keep in mind that it can all too often be women and children who are affected most.

Read more at PPNYC’s Blog.
Like most of you, I’ve been following the news of the major 7.0 earthquake that happened in Haiti yesterday, devastating the country and leaving potentially thousands dead.
Because the country is so poor and so much of the infrastructure has been devastated by the earthquake, relief to the area is struggling. Hospitals have been destroyed and makeshift clinics are running out of medical supplies.
The affects of a disaster such as this go far beyond the immediate loss of life and structural damage. They also have, among other things, a devastating impact on women’s and reproductive health. Haiti already has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the region, a situation that can only be made worse by the aftermath of the earthquake. Additionally, women have to think about things like how to access time-sensitive medication like birth control pills, or contraception and hygiene supplies like sanitary pads and tampons. (read more about gender and natural disasters).
Although PPNYC doesn’t currently have any partner organizations in Haiti, there are a number of great groups that are there to help. So check them out, help out, and stay informed.

    How to find loved ones:

  • The U.S. State Department is running a hotline for those trying to get in touch with U.S. Citizens living or traveling in Haiti. Contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens services, at 1-888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225.
  • The Red Cross family linking response and Red Cross Safe and Well Web site is connecting people (including non-US citizens) their family and friends in Haiti.
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  • CNN iReport is running a site to connect loved ones in Haiti.
  • How to help:

  • Partners in Health is doing some amazing and much needed on-the-ground medical work in the wake of the disaster.
  • Doctors Without Borders is also setting up health clinics on the ground.
  • Wyclef’s organization Yele is running a disaster relief fund.
  • The International Rescue Committee is also doing work on the ground.
  • UNFPA is doing some amazing work on the ground, especially in regards to the needs of women and children.
  • The Red Cross is doing disaster relief.
  • The Huffington Post is compiling a list of all the organizations helping on the ground in Haiti.
  • News and Updates:

  • Reuters is keeping a running blog of news updates from Haiti.
  • The Huffington Post is printing updates from relief workers on the ground in Haiti.
  • CNN is covering the aftermath of the earthquake.
  • The New York Times is keeping a running update on their Lede blog.
  • The Globe and Mail has great coverage as well.
  • Further reading:

  • In case you’re wondering, FEMA tells you what to do in case of an earthquake.
  • And interesting piece on how underlying issues of poverty and infrastructure make the consequences of a natural disaster all the more devastating.
  • The Social has a good piece on how to avoid charity scams.
  • The Nation and Salon have interesting pieces on the political/social/economic history of Haiti.

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