Haiti: the international aid effort

After the earthquake in Haiti, what organisations are collecting and what are they going to do with your money?

You want to help, but with so many charity appeals flying around the internet, it can be hard to decide how. One of the most prominent appeals on Twitter is from Yele, the charity set up by Haitian rapper Wyclef Jean. "Text 'YELE" to 501501, to donate $5," it reads. But it only works with US mobiles. And if you are a UK taxpayer, it makes more sense to give to a UK-based charity so they can reclaim the tax you have ­already paid on the amount you are donating.

One simple solution is to donate to the Disaster Emergency Committee. The DEC is coordinating one giant Haiti appeal on behalf of 13 UK charities ­(ActionAid, British Red Cross, Cafod, Care International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, ­Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Chidren, Tearfund, World Vision). ­According to Brendan Paddy, DEC's media manager, the way the funds are distributed among the charities follows a "complex formula, but the money goes to those best to help. So the larger ones get a larger share of the money." To ­donate call 0370 6060900 or visit donate.bt.com/dec_form_haiti.html

However, not all aid agencies working in Haiti are covered by the DEC. And if you'd rather pick out one charity, rather than donating to an umbrella group, these are your best bets:

Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF)

MSF isn't under the DEC umbrella, but is active in Haiti, and three of its hospitals and clinics in Port-au-Prince were damaged in the quake. Many ­patients and staff were injured and hundreds of wounded are arriving at its offices for treatment. MSF has set up tented clinics, and 70 more MSF staff are due to arrive with a 100-bed hospital, complete with an inflatable surgical unit and nephrolo­gists to deal with crush injuries.

Donations: msf.org.uk

United Nations World Food Programme

The WFP is the lead agency providing food assistance in Haiti, working with its existing food stocks there, organising transport of food and other humanitarian supplies, as well as emergency telecommunications on behalf of many aid agencies in Haiti. It has costed its operation at $246m for the next six months.

Donations: wfp.org/donate/haiti


With four offices in Haiti and more than 200 aid workers on the ground, "Oxfam's main delivery will be water and sani­tation," says Louis Belanger, Oxfam spokesman in Haiti, in a podcast that describes his work "­coordinating with other aid agencies to make sure we don't duplicate and bump into each other".

Donations: oxfam.org.uk/donate/haiti-earthquake, or call 0300 200 1999


Unicef will help the thousands of child­ren orphaned by the earthquake, and will provide clean water, sanitation and basic health care for women and children. Its focus will then expand to include "getting children back to school, psycho­logical counselling and reuniting children with their families".

Donations: unicef.org.uk, or call 0800 316 5353

British Red Cross

The Red Cross provides relief supplies including kitchen kits, shelter kits and personal hygiene kits, and its volunteers are assisting in local hospitals. Further personnel are en route, to set up a ­mobile field hospital. The Red Cross has also set up a website to help Haitians who have lost contact with their loved ones.

Donations: redcross.org.uk, or call 0845 053 5353

Care International

Care International already has over 100 staff in the country and is deploying more to coordinate distribution of food, water, hygiene kits, temporary shelter and support for emergency health measures. Their website says they plan to "start food distributions using stocks of high-protein biscuits from our warehouses [there]".

Donations: careinternational.org.uk


Amy Fleming

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Haiti aid agencies warn: chaotic and confusing relief effort is costing lives

Operations delayed as vital supplies fail to get through at Port-au-Prince airport

Chris McGreal in Washington and Esther Addley

18, Jan, 2010 @9:17 PM

Article image
Rain brings more misery to Haiti earthquake survivors
Aid agencies warn of new humanitarian disaster if shelter and sanitation not improved quickly

Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent

19, Feb, 2010 @7:06 PM

Article image
Time running out as aid fails to reach Haiti

A massive international air and sea lift of aid to earthquake-devastated Haiti was struggling to overcome ­obstacles in delivering rescue teams and emergency help to the more than 2 million people in need of immediate assistance

Ed Pilkington in Santo Domingo, Peter Beaumont and Peter Walker

15, Jan, 2010 @12:02 AM

Article image
Haiti earthquake updates: live blog

The UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, urges desperate Haitians to have patience as a massive international aid effort moves slowly into action in the quake-devastated nation. Follow live updates

Peter Walker and Mark Tran

18, Jan, 2010 @10:10 AM

Article image
Haiti earthquake: two years on, and just half of promised aid has been delivered

UN figures show that only $2.38bn of $4.5bn pledged has been sent to nation where 2010 natural disaster killed 300,000 people

Tom Phillips and Claire Provost

11, Jan, 2012 @6:16 PM

Article image
Haiti promised $10bn in aid – double what it asked for
Countries and aid organisations come up with twice the sum Haiti's president wanted to rebuild after earthquake

Rory Carroll and agencies

01, Apr, 2010 @8:49 AM

Article image
Haiti aid effort 'could have saved more'
Doctor says injured should have had more help as Lancet article accuses aid agencies of preening

Rory Carroll and Tom Phillips in Port-au-Prince

22, Jan, 2010 @8:33 PM

Article image
Six months on, Haiti earthquake victims wait for billions in aid

British charity Save the Children warns that the hurricane season could bring disaster for the thousands of people still left homeless after reconstruction has virtually come to a halt, writes Peter Beaumont

Peter Beaumont

10, Jul, 2010 @11:05 PM

Article image
Haiti earthquake updates: live blog

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake added to the sense of chaos in Haiti today as aid agencies continue to struggle to reach survivors. Follow live updates.

Daniel Nasaw and Matthew Weaver

20, Jan, 2010 @12:33 PM

Article image
Information is Beautiful: giving aid to #Haiti #vizualisation

How generous has the world been with Haiti after its earthquake?

David McCandless

26, Jan, 2010 @1:42 PM