Haiti Earthquake

Haiti Earthquake – How to help!

There is a patterned response to crises such as the Haiti Earthquake:

Phase 1: First responders will arrive on the scene and conduct search and rescue;

Phase 2: Domestic and international aid agencies will collaborate to provide initial emergency relief services (temporary housing and basic needs for displaced persons);

Phase 3: First response providers are often replaced by entities that remain on the scene for the mid-term to bridge communities through long term recovery efforts;

Phase 4: Often, governments will take on long term recovery efforts (housing structures that can stand until new buildings are constructed, etc.).

A private foundation’s role can be pivotal during Phase 3, when nonprofit entities move in to address midterm needs. Financial support for these activities are typically drawn from such organization’s emergency response funds, which work best when they are already funded (before a particular crisis occurs). This allows that organization to deploy their services quickly and nimbly in the face of critical and urgent needs.  For this reason, you will often see such entities (Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Save the Children, CARE, International Relief Fund, Mercy Corps, etc.) fundraise year-round in anticipation of such emergencies.

As difficult as it can be to be patient, along with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP)—the preeminent expert on the role that foundations can play in the face of disasters—Foundation Source urges our clients to offer support to humanitarian aid agencies on an ongoing basis to position them to respond quickly when crises occur (if disaster response is part of their programmatic priorities), to support midterm relief efforts that bridge initial first response activities and long term recovery work, and to recognize the important and unique role that they can play in this critical midterm phase of emergency response.

As we highlighted in our webinar with Regine Webster of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, a highly vulnerable stage of disaster response is when the news media outlets return home, headlines about the crisis are no longer above the fold, and international attention moves on to something else: this is the moment where foundations can make all the difference.

Here are some helpful links:

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Save the Children