Nearly two years after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving over a million people homeless, the American Red Cross has announced that it has spent or committed $330 million of the $486 million it received in donations for earthquake relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean nation.
To date, the Red Cross has allocated the majority of those dollars to provide food and emergency services; the organization's other recovery activities include building homes, providing access to clean water and sanitation systems, supporting the delivery of health care, preventing the spread of disease, and disaster preparedness efforts.
During 2012, the organization plans to shift its focus in Haiti from providing temporary relief and recovery assistance to longer-term solutions, such as repairing damaged homes so that residents can return to their neighborhoods. Indeed, the pace of home construction in quake-affected areas has increased rapidly of late, with the Red Cross and global network of Red Cross organizations providing housing to more than 100,000 people at the two-year mark.
"The money donated to the American Red Cross provided life-saving relief to millions of Haitians after the earthquake and is now being used for longer-term solutions such as helping people move from camps to permanent homes and communities," said Red Cross president and CEO Gail McGovern. "Although progress is not as fast as we would like, recovery is well underway."