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UUSC Statement on 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake That Struck Haiti on Saturday, August 14

The recent earthquake in Haiti highlights the need for more resources for communities facing injustice

August 15, 2021

In response to the news that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on the morning of Saturday, August 14, UUSC CEO and President Rev. Mary Katherine Morn released the following statement: 

“UUSC has reached out to its former partners in Haiti to understand the impact of this devastating earthquake, which by early accounts has taken the lives of more than 300 people and injured more than 1,800 people. We are acutely aware that this earthquake is happening at a crucial moment in Haiti: The coronavirus pandemic has severely burdened the nation’s already tenuous healthcare system; less than one percent of the nation’s population is vaccinated; and the country’s president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated in early July.

As with any human-made or natural disaster, we recognize that response and recovery efforts—while vital to helping the nation rebuild—will inevitably expose inequities that impact certain populations that are already experiencing injustice. Women, children, people living with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, the houseless, and indigent people—communities already dealing with myriad forms of oppression—will undoubtedly experience a lack of access to vital resources and services in the coming days, weeks, and months. As we do with any ecological disaster, we will first listen to understand the impacts on the ground—both in the short and long terms. 

As part of our long-term work in the area of disaster justice and addressing the impacts of climate change, UUSC is supporting partners around the globe who are creating climate justice and supporting equitable recovery in the face of persistent ecological crises. ‘Disasters’ often highlight the bureaucracies, systemic inequitable approaches, and the complete incoherence of systems of power, and in particular, government administrations and agencies. We’ve seen that these moments often clear the way for community-driven efforts that are grounded in daily reality and lead to more durable solutions, and that civil society organizations are often able to support and build people’s power in these moments. 

At this time, we are raising money for our emergency fund, which will support grassroots community groups on the ground in Haiti responding to the earthquake.”

Help UUSC get resources to grassroots organizations in Haiti by making a gift to our Emergency Response Fund today. UUSC’s work in Haiti will focus on long-term relief and recovery, conducted with locally led grassroots organizations, many of which have partnered with us for more than a decade.

We also invite you to refer to this document, from the Movement for Black Lives, outlining additional ways to support both the immediate and long-term needs of the Haitian people.

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About UUSC: Guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity, UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. We invite you to join us in this journey toward realizing a better future!

Image Credit: iStock—ffikretow

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