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The Episcopal Church: Facts about the Diocese of Haiti and the aftermath of the earthquake

January 16, 2010
Office of Public Affairs
The world continues to watch after a devastating 7.0 earthquake destroyed much of Haiti, with the death toll mounting each day. The Episcopal Church and Episcopal Relief & Development responded immediately. The following fact sheet will assist in your continued reporting of the Haiti earthquake.

Please continue to check the special Haiti page for updated and additional information.

Updated information available from The Episcopal Church Office of Communication, including items from across the country on missionaries, church responses, persons in Haiti, etc.

The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is part of The Episcopal Church.

The Rt. Rev. Zache Duracin is Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti. He is unharmed; his wife suffered an injury to her foot.

The Episcopal Church in Haiti has lost a cathedral, convent, Holy Trinity Complex, College St. Pierre, and a Jubilee Center.

The Episcopal Church”s three missionaries who were in Haiti are all accounted for – Mallory Holding, Jude Harmon, and Oge Beauvoir, who is the dean of the Theological Seminary, along with his wife Serette.

The Diocesan offices are located in Port-au-Prince.

Episcopal Relief & Development has disbursed emergency funding to the Diocese of Haiti to help meet critical needs such as food, water and shelter for those affected.
Donations can be made to Episcopal Relief & Development by calling 800-334-7626 ext 5129. .Episcopal Relief & Development has a four star rating on Charity Navigator and meets all 20 standards of the Better Business Bureau.

Bulletin inserts from Episcopal Relief & Development are available in both Spanish and English.

Haiti is the largest and fastest-growing diocese in The Episcopal Church. There are over 83,000 Episcopalians in Haiti.
(Source: The Episcopal Church Research Statistics

There are 97 Episcopal churches in Haiti. We are in the process of ascertaining their status; updates will be posted on the Episcopal Church Haiti page:
(Source: The Episcopal Church Research Statistics

This number reflects 115 congregations and communities of faith
(Source: 2009 Episcopal Church Annual)

In 2008, the diocese celebrated over 200 child and adult baptisms, and over 700 child and adult confirmations.
(Source: The Episcopal Church Research Statistics

The following is from Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development

Haiti: The Three “Rs” of Disasters

It is important to remember that all disasters have a life cycle: “The Three Rs of Disasters.”

Right now, we are in the “Rescue” phase. All hands are on deck to save lives and property. This phase involves finding and treating the immediate medical needs of survivors and stabilizing ongoing hazards, such as shifting buildings. As such, it is best left to the heavy lifters – government and military search and rescue teams. These groups also have heavy equipment that can clear roads and debris, as well as large specialized operations with mass distribution systems that have pre-positioned warehouses. The “Rescue” phase typically lasts a week, but with the extraordinary logistical hurdles being faced in Haiti, it may take longer.

The next phase is the “Relief” phase, where the focus is on creating temporary safe and sanitary conditions. As I saw in Katrina, the church is often one of the first places people go to seek assistance and shelter. We have already heard that in rural and outlying areas around the earthquake zone, existing clinics are seeing patients who have been able to get out of Port-au-Prince. Some of these clinics are expanding patient care to schools and church buildings. The “Relief” phase typically lasts a few months.

Finally, we get to the third and final phase: “Recovery.” During recovery the emphasis shifts to restoring services, rebuilding houses and buildings, and returning, to self-sufficiency. The Diocese of Haiti has a very large and vibrant social infrastructure and we fully expect that Episcopal Relief & Development will be there for the long haul supporting their important and vibrant ministries.

The challenge of the “Recovery” phase is that most of the television cameras have moved on, but the human suffering has grown. It is a chronic state, not a crisis. However, it is the phase that Episcopal Relief & Development and its partners excel at, because we work with churches that are part of the communities and know the needs best and how to meet them. This phase will last years. The unmet needs in a place like Haiti – which already struggles with immense, chronic poverty – will be monumental.

Right now Episcopal Relief & Development is focused on preparing for the “Relief” phase and securing the resources for the “Recovery” phase.

For more information on the Haiti earthquake and on Episcopal Relief & Development”s response, please visit