Timeline of Relief Efforts in Haiti

Friday, 19 February 2010 14:57 Tzu Chi Foundation
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Tzu Chi’s Immediate Response to the Haiti Earthquake
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Haiti on January 12, 2010.  Tzu Chi immediately established an emergency coordination center in Tzu Chi USA headquarters (San Dimas, CA).  On January 13, Tzu Chi has focused the immediate relief in Haiti on:  (1) Relief aid distribution, (2) Medical assistance, and (3) Global fundraising.



WEEKLY TIMELINE: as of 2/12

Date Event
February 12
  • On February 6, Tzu Chi medical & dental team started to provide services in Tabarre. Not only did the Tzu Chi medical & dental team provided services to the survivors, the team also provided services to the peacekeepers who were helping to provide relief work and security protection.

  • On February 8, Tzu Chi started its relief work program around Impact for God Church, providing the participants / survivors meals and cash in exchange for clean-up work in their local communities. Each day, participants work in the morning, earning approximately US$5 per day (paid on a weekly basis) and receiving hot meals for their family members and themselves. The program gives the survivors not only urgently-needed food and cash, but also a sense of hope and respect.

  • On February 10, a relief goods distribution was held at the St. Mary Church. 2,290 people received goods, such as rice, beans, buckets and reusable utensils, from Tzu Chi. A total of 62 volunteers (including Tzu Chi volunteers, medical doctors, local church volunteers) were mobilized to assist with the distribution. There were peacekeepers at the distribution site to provide security protection. They said that Tzu Chi’s relief goods distribution was the most touching and heart-warming distribution they have ever seen.

  • On February 11, a large-scale distribution was held at the Impact for God Church, benefiting approximately 8,500 people in the city of Tabarre. Good distributed per person including 10kg of rice in a bucket, 5kg of red bean in a bucket, 2 sets of reusable utensils and bowls. A total of 85 volunteers were mobilized, including 16 Tzu Chi volunteers from the relief team, 5 Tzu Chi medical team personnel, 4 Tzu Chi volunteers from Haiti, and 60 participants from the relief work program.

  • On February 10, the CEO of Tzu Chi USA, along with the Executive Vice President of Tzu Chi USA and four other Tzu Chi volunteers visited the Prime Minister of Haiti, discussing the possibility of long-term reconstruction work. The Prime Minister remembered Tzu Chi from the relief work in January 2008. The CEO of Tzu Chi USA, William Keh, told the Prime Minister about Tzu Chi’s reconstruction work after the Southeast Asia tsunami in Sri Lanka, the earthquakes in Indonesia, the earthquakes in El Salvador, the mudslides in Kaohsiung County after Typhoon Morakot, etc, and that Tzu Chi has built permanent villages in different parts of the world after disasters.  Tzu Chi respects each area’s religions, ethnic traditions and cultures when building the permanent villages. The Prime Minister hopes that Tzu Chi can assist with the reconstruction work in Haiti and set an example for other NGOs to follow.

  • Tzu Chi attended meetings with other NGOs and US peacekeepers. US peacekeepers said Tzu Chi can obtain US peacekeeper’s support, if there is a need.

  • On February 12, a month after the earthquake in Haiti, Tzu Chi held a joint prayer service at the Impact for God Church, for the survivors in the area.

  • On February 12 at 4:53pm EST, Tzu Chi USA, launched a nationwide campaign to observe a minute of silence and send blessings and prayers to the survivors in Haiti.  At 4:53pm EST (the time that the earthquake happened on January 12), all the Tzu Chi volunteers in the US and in Haiti sent their prayers and blessings to the people in Haiti, creating a collective force that brings hope and love to the people in Haiti.

  • Shifts of Tzu Chi volunteers and doctors and medical personnel from the Americas will be stationed in Haiti on a weekly basis (similar to what Tzu Chi did after the Sichuan earthquake). Tzu Chi USA is in the process of integrating nationwide volunteers and medical manpower and resources to be on standby for dispatch to Haiti in the long-run.

  • As part of Tzu Chi’s immediate relief efforts, several small-scale distributions will continue to be held, while large-scale distributions will be held in end of February, mid- March and end of March.

  • Gatherings/trainings will be held continuously with local Tzu Chi volunteers and relief work program participants / survivors to spread the message of love and to continue the cycle of love in Haiti in the long-run.

  • In the next few weeks, Tzu Chi will gradually enter into mid-long term relief phase in Haiti. Tzu Chi will continue to assess the situation and develop a detailed long-term reconstruction plan.   

  • Master Cheng Yen, the founder of Tzu Chi, continues to urge all volunteers to use selfless Great Love to help Haiti!

 


 

Tzu Chi’s Prior Relief Efforts in Haiti

Tzu Chi has previously provided aid to Haiti in 1998-1999, 2004 and 2009. In January 2009, Tzu Chi relief team in the Americas traveled to Haiti to provide relief after the country was struck by numerous hurricanes in 2008. Tzu Chi volunteers from the US, Dominican Republic and St. Martin provided supplies including rice, corn powder, cooking oil, sugar, salt, instant noodles, tarp, eco-friendly blankets, buckets (for food storage), vitamins, dental kits and a set of portable dental equipment, benefiting 3,343 households in poverty stricken areas in Port-au-Prince and Cité Soleil. There were also other long-term plans for charitable and medical assistance.

WEEKLY TIMELINE: 1/30 ~ 2/5

Date Event
February 5
  • On January 29, Tzu Chi relief team distributed aid to an orphanage in Pernier, benefiting 150 people (including orphans and staff). The goods distributed included instant corn powder, cooking oil, milk powder, beans, oatmeal, rice, gas stoves, as well as 300 sets of reusable utensils. Tzu Chi previously provided assistance to this orphanage in January 2009. At the orphanage, Tzu Chi volunteers led the children and the staff to pray for all the survivors and for a peaceful world. Both the Tzu Chi volunteers and the people at the orphanage had tears in their eyes as they prayed. Tzu Chi volunteers also taught the children a song called “The Spirit of Great Love,” and told them that as long as we have love in our hearts, we will not be defeated by challenges facing us.
  • On February 1, Tzu Chi conducted a large-scale distribution at IHCD in the city of Tabarre, benefiting approximately 3,000 people. The goods distributed included instant rice, instant corn powder and reusable utensils. The person responsible for IHCD, Nicole, expressed her gratitude to Tzu Chi. She said that Tzu Chi not only provided food to the survivors, most important of all, Tzu Chi showed respect and love when providing the aid, giving the survivors dignity and hope.
  • During the distribution, the USAID Senior Advisor for Special Project as well as deputy mayor of the city of Tabarre were present. Approximately 75 volunteers (including Tzu Chi relief team from the US and the Dominican Republic, Tzu Chi volunteers based in Haiti, local residents, Haitian police and peacekeepers) were mobilized to conduct this distribution.
  • Tzu Chi attended UN meeting and will continue to do so. Tzu Chi met up with the mayor of Tabarre and peacekeepers and police, as well as St. Mary Church and Impact of God Church to discuss details relating to its relief work program and large-scale distribution work.
  • Tzu Chi relief team held gathering with its local volunteers, local residents, Haitian police, Jordanian peacekeepers, etc., to discuss how to collaborate together to deliver aid in the long run, as well as to spread the spirit of selfless Great Love.
  • Tzu Chi relief goods (including tarps, tents, 500 portable restrooms, instant rice, instant corn powder, reusable utensils, eco-friendly blankets, medical kits, and other food) are continuously being shipped into Haiti.
  • On February 6-8, Tzu Chi medical team will provide medical & dental services in Tabarre.
  • Starting February 8, Tzu Chi will conduct a relief work program in the vicinity of the distribution sites (at St. Mary Church and Impact of God Church). For the initial phase, survivors will work to clean up the surrounding areas in exchange for food and cash from Tzu Chi. The relief work program will not only provide immediate needs to the survivors, it will also provide hope and love. Survivors/participants in the program will be working from 7am to 11am, and Tzu Chi will provide hot meals to them, and they can bring meals back home for their family. Each participant in the program will also receive wages, which will be paid on a weekly basis.
  • On February 10-11, Tzu Chi will be holding large-scale distributions and providing medical & dental services in Tabarre, benefiting over 10,000 survivors in the area. The mayor of the cit y of Tabarre will be attending and is very supportive of Tzu Chi’s relief efforts in the city.
  • Several small-scale distributions will also be held continuously, while large-scale distributions will be conducted on a weekly basis.
  • On February 12, Tzu Chi will work with local churches to conduct a prayer in the city of Tabarre (for over 10,000 people). Gatherings/trainings will be held continuously with local Tzu Chi volunteers, local residents, peacekeepers and police to spread the message of love and hope and to continue the cycle of love in Haiti in the long-run.
  • Tzu Chi will focus its relief work in the city of Tabarre. Tabarre has also been chosen by UN to be a place to accommodate other survivors.
  • Shifts of Tzu Chi volunteers from the USA, Dominican Republic and St. Martin that will be stationed in Haiti on a weekly basis (similar to what Tzu Chi did after the Sichuan earthquake). Tzu Chi USA is in the process of integrating nationwide volunteers and medical manpower and resources to be on standby for dispatch to Haiti in the long-run.
  • Tzu Chi continues to prepare for and emphasize the importance of mid- and long term relief in Haiti. In the next few weeks, Tzu Chi will gradually enter into mid-long term relief phase in Haiti.
  • Master Cheng Yen, the founder of Tzu Chi, continues to urge all volunteers to use selfless Great Love to help Haiti!


An earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale rocked the Republic of Haiti on the 12th of January 2010. Tzu Chi Foundation has initiated a global fundraising campaign to deliver the love from people around the globe to the affected people in Haiti.

Tzu Chi’s relief team, including volunteers and doctors from the US and the Dominican Republic, is currently preparing to provide relief. The Foundation is preparing relief aid and medical supplies to be delivered to Haiti when possible.

Tzu Chi will continue to provide updates on its relief efforts.

TIMELINE: 1/12 ~ 1/24

Date Event
January 24
  • 2nd relief assessment team arrives in Haiti in the morning. They visit an orphanage in the outskirt of Port-au-Prince, as well as talk to US soldiers who are distributing aid, in order to seek support on security issue when conducting distribution later on.
  • Tzu Chi volunteers in the Dominican Republic visit the injured earthquake survivors at Hospital Municipal Cabral and distribute aid and provide care.
  • 4,615 volunteers throughout the US are mobilized to conduct street fundraisers over the weekend.
  • 2nd assessment team will conduct assessment relating to transportation, security, communication, living situation, distribution sites and methods, local wages in Haiti, evaluation of mid-long term relief, etc.
  • According to the asst. manager of OECC, he sees how united the Haitians are after this earthquake. Local people help out one another, and are more united than before the earthquake. The only chaotic area is in city center.
  • Tzu Chi relief assessment team plans to meet with local volunteers in Haiti and to initiate a relief work program (like what Tzu Chi did in the Philippines after Typhoon Ketsana struck, and Tzu Chi volunteers, along with 80,000 workers/residents participating in Tzu Chi’s relief work program, cleaned up a city in 18 days).
  • Tzu Chi relief assessment team will visit the survivors in shelters as well as meet with other humanitarian organizations tomorrow.
  • Tzu Chi USA is in the process of integrating nationwide volunteers and medical manpower and resources to be on standby for the next few months.
  • Currently, global headquarters (Taiwan) still has 28 tons of instant rice, 1 ton of instant corn powder, 50,000 eco-friendly blankets and 30,000 sets of utensils (a total of 17 cargo containers) of supplies on standby, ready to be shipped to Haiti.
  • Tzu Chi will focus on areas that have not been helped, instead of going into the center of Port-au-Prince.
  • Tzu Chi continues to prepare for mid-long term relief in Haiti.
January 23
  • Nationwide street fundraisers continue in the US on 1/23 and 1/24.
  • Tzu Chi has received full support from OECC, and will set up a temporary base in OECC office in Port-au-Prince.
January 22
  • The first shipment of goods (including eco-friendly blankets, instant rice, instant powder, utensils, etc.), weighing approximately 10 tons, has been delivered by plane (to the Dominican Republic) on January 22 (will arrive in the Dominican Republic by 1/26). Second shipment will arrive later.
  • Tzu Chi continues to attend meetings with other organizations, as well as conference calls with the White House, USAID.
  • The 2nd relief assessment team from the US arrives in the emergency coordination center in the Dominican Republic, bringing a small amount of medical supplies and goods.
January 21
  • The Tzu Chi relief assessment team and Senator Rodriguez arrive in Haiti. The team visits an orphanage (with 133 orphans) which Tzu Chi distributed aid to in 2009. They still use Tzu Chi’s eco-friendly blankets and plastic sheets distributed last year. They recognize Tzu Chi from last year and they are so happy to see Tzu Chi, so they shout out “Tzu Chi, Tzu Chi” when they see the relief assessment team in Tzu Chi uniform.
  • Tzu Chi will bring propane gas stoves from the Dominican Republic to cook hot meals for the people in the orphanage (with Tzu Chi’s instant rice).
  • Tzu Chi relief team will set up a base in a local volunteer’s office. The office can store up to 6 cargo containers.
  • A Tzu Chi volunteer in Haiti says a government building is now occupied by around 2,500 survivors, without food. Tzu Chi team will visit tomorrow to assess what aid Tzu Chi can provide.
  • Congressman Joel in Haiti visited Tzu Chi global headquarters in 2009, after Tzu Chi provided relief in Haiti in January 2009. He is with Tzu Chi today. He will get additional support from police in Haiti to support Tzu Chi’s relief efforts and connect Tzu Chi with the prime minister in Haiti.
  • Tzu Chi’s second relief team will arrive Tzu Chi Emergency Coordination Center in the Dominican Republic on January 22. They will bring more relief goods and medical supplies.
  • The first shipment of goods (including eco-friendly blankets, instant rice, instant powder, utensils, etc.), weighing approximately 10 tons, will be delivered by plane. Second shipment will arrive later.
  • Tomorrow, the relief assessment team plans to visit a government building sheltering 2,500 survivors to assess the needs, meet with other humanitarian organizations, meet with local Tzu Chi volunteers, meet with Jordanian UN peacekeepers regarding providing protection (the Tzu Chi chapter in Jordan has connected with the Jordanian UN peacekeepers), and visit the OECC office.
  • The founder of Tzu Chi Foundation, Master Cheng Yen, continues to emphasize that ones who save others must be safe themselves. She also emphasizes the importance of initiating a relief work program (like what Tzu Chi did in the Philippines after Typhoon Ketsana struck, and Tzu Chi volunteers along with 80,000 workers/residents cleaned up the city in 18 days). The founder says that for now, Tzu Chi will focus on areas that have not been helped, instead of going into Port-au-Prince. She continues to emphasize the importance of integrating manpower and resources now to prepare for mid-long term relief.
January 20
  • Tzu Chi Emergency Coordination Center in the Dominican Republic prepares for the relief assessment team’s departure to Haiti.
  • Tzu Chi relief assessment team, along with Senator Juan Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez and guards from the Dominican Republic, leave Santo Domingo for Barahona. They stay overnight in Barahona, in Senator Rodriguez’s mother’s house, before departing for Haiti on 1/21 morning.
January 19
  • Tzu Chi relief team, along with Senator Juan Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez (who is also a Tzu Chi volunteer) and soldiers from the Dominican Republic, meet with Tzu Chi volunteers in Haiti at the border (Jimani) to provide relief supplies.
  • Tzu Chi relief team, along with Senator Juan Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez (who is also a Tzu Chi volunteer) and soldiers from the Dominican Republic, meet with Tzu Chi volunteers in Haiti at the border (Jimani) to provide relief supplies.
  • People in 29 countries have joined in the first phase of Tzu Chi’s global fundraising campaign.

January 18

  • The CEO of Tzu Chi USA as well as a team of volunteers from the US arrive at the Tzu Chi Emergency Communication Center in the Dominican Republic.
  • Teams of volunteers from the US will be stationed in the Dominican Republic for the next few months.
January 17
  • Integrate nationwide medical manpower to be on standby for the next few months to provide medical services.
  • Global fundraising campaign continues. US volunteers hold nationwide street fundraisers.
January 16
  • Tzu Chi volunteer in Haiti scheduled to attend FEMA meetings in Haiti.
  • Tzu Chi announces it will provide mid-term and long-term relief in Haiti, besides immediate relief.
  • First phase of global fundraising campaign in 16 countries: US, Canada, UK, Denmark, Paraguay, Argentina, Jordan, South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Japan.
  • US Tzu Chi volunteers hold nationwide street fundraisers (23 locations in Southern California alone).
January 15
  • Tzu Chi Emergency Coordination Center establishes contact with local volunteer in Haiti.
  • Tzu Chi establishes Emergency Communication Center at Tzu Chi's Dominican Republic office.
January 14
  • Relief team and first shipment of supplies are on standby, prepared by Tzu Chi International Humanitarian Aid Association (TIHAA)
  • 500,000 packs of instant rice
    500,000 packs of corn powder
    20,000 eco-friendly fleece blankets
    50,000 sets of eco-friendly eating utensils
  • Other supplies: used clothing, medical kits, medical supplies, vitamins, ointments .

Notes on supplies:
* Instant rice is ready to be served after 40-50 minutes in cold water or 20 minutes in hot water
* Each eco-friendly fleece blanket is made from 70 recycled PET bottles

January 13
  • Meeting with Tzu Chi Global HQ (Taiwan), Tzu Chi USA and Tzu Chi Dominican Republic office, focusing on:
    1.Relief aid distribution
    2.Medical assistance
    3.Global fundraising
  • Coordination meeting with other humanitarian organizations.
  • Tzu Chi relief team and a team of Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) doctors are on standby for dispatch.
  • Tzu Chi’s global fundraising campaign kicks off.
January 12
  • 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Haiti.
  • Tzu Chi establishes Emergency Coordination Center in Tzu Chi USA HQ.




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