Haiti Emergency Relief Fund designates special hurricane aid for grassroots organizations
August 27, 2006
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Haiti Emergency Relief Fund designates special hurricane aid for grassroots organizations

In anticipation of likely devastation, the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund (HERF) responded to Hurricane Ernesto today by setting up a special hurricane relief fund that will place designated funds with grassroots organizations in Haiti. As it did in 2004 - in response to the disaster of Tropical Storm Jeanne and Hurricane Ivan - HERF plans on getting funds directly to the community organizations in the affected areas.

In September of 2004 Tropical Storm Jeanne passed off of the north-east coast of Haiti and dumped massive amounts of rain in the northern regions and Gonaives was inundated by the flash floods. While the same storm initially hit the Dominican Republic as a "hurricane," causing 18 deaths, Haiti was totally unprepared for the disaster — as a result of the U.S.-led coup d'État in February of that year. It's estimated that over 3,000 perished as a result.

When larger relief organizations were finally able to get some badly needed emergency supplies on the ground, the well-equipped UN occupation forces allowed anti-Aristide gangs overpower the locals and take most of the supplies. HERF believes that the popular organizations that are on the ground already, and have been living in the affected regions, have shown to be more effective in distributing whatever aid they get:

"We have little faith that the U.N. occupying forces will direct their relief efforts to the communities most in need. We do, however, have faith in the many Haitian popular grassroots organizations throughout the country now gearing up to aid victims and rebuild communities."

HERF is a project of the Vanguard Public Foundation that has had an extensive hurricane relief program in New Orleans. Over US$100,000 in emergency relief was distributed by HERF in the last year for schools, organizations and human-rights needs.

"Record amounts of rain are being dumped over the entire island, including as many as 20 inches in some of the isolated higher terrain," says the HERF press release. "Of course, we hope that the civil defense teams have gotten everyone out of harms way. However, with the extent of this hurricane, there will be something to fix. There was a big need, before last week, that we are actively raising funds for. All funds designated for hurricane relief will be used for that purpose, as they were in 2004."

Please give to: Vanguard Public  Foundation's
Haiti  Emergency  Relief Fund

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