Haiti earthquake relief

Funding required: $1,009,000

This project will help: 12,000 families

Estimated completion date: February, 2022

Country: Haiti

Executive summary

On August 14, 2021, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck southern Haiti, demolishing homes and roads and uprooting families. The prime minister of Haiti declared a one-month national state of emergency as injured and death counts grew. More than 2,200 people were confirmed killed and more than 12,200 were injured.

More than 52,000 homes were completely destroyed, while hospital, schools, roads and water systems left 650,000 people in desperate need of immediate humanitarian assistance. UNICEF estimates more than half a million children were affected. Shelter has been declared the greatest pressing need, as Haitian families are sleeping in homes missing roofs and walls, in open fields or in public buildings.

Sadly, Compassion’s beneficiaries were not spared from the tragedy. Forty-six church partners, serving 15,654 families and employing 1,346 staff, were affected by the deadliest earthquake and natural disaster of 2021. The numbers, each one representing a precious life, are staggering:

  • 14 beneficiary children dead and 240 injured
  • 78 parents/siblings dead and 250 injured
  • 6 churches destroyed and 27 damaged
  • 7 schools destroyed and 23 damaged
  • 6 frontline church partners destroyed and 25 damaged
  • 7,000 beneficiary homes damaged and 4,800 destroyed
  • 200 staff homes damaged

With your help, Compassion Haiti will restore the homes of 12,000 families from 34 church partners so they can start to rebuild their lives. The first step of the intervention will be to construct temporary shelters for the churches so they can be a place of refuge for children to heal and recover. The second step will be to provide transitional shelters for 12,000 families (11,800 beneficiary families and 200 staff) so they can get off the streets and into secure homes. By meeting one of their most basic human needs for safe shelter, we can give children the peace, security and hope to dream again.

Did you know?

Rescue efforts following the earthquake were hindered due to Tropical Depression Grace, which caused 15 inches of torrential rain, along with flooding and mudslides. Many remote villages were made inaccessible, leaving them feeling abandoned in their relief and rebuilding efforts.



Haiti is a disaster-prone country with a long history of destructive earthquakes. Every year, from June to November, the impoverished country battles another hurricane season, wreaking havoc on an already tumultuous situation.

Serving more than 130,000 children in Haiti, Compassion’s primary focus is holistic child development so boys and girls can be released from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty in Jesus’ name. Although Compassion isn’t primarily a disaster relief organization, it is imperative to respond to the critical needs of beneficiaries who are facing otherwise insurmountable loss.

Compassion’s local church partners in Haiti have been and will continue to be present in the lives of the children they serve. And right now, that means walking alongside parents and caring for little ones as they do the hard work of recovering from the latest devastating earthquake. Compassion Haiti is urgently working to provide shelters for children since Haiti is in the middle of hurricane season. The national office is exploring partnership opportunities with other local organizations to address the crisis quickly and effectively.

This critical intervention is part of Compassion’s larger strategy to restore families through food distribution, shelter construction, medical and post-trauma care, recapitalizing parents through income-generating activities and equipping/encouraging church leaders.

The need

Home is supposed to be a safe haven, a place to rest and be restored before facing the everyday challenges of life. Right now, thousands of children in Haiti have no place to call home. We must address the most pressing needs of these beneficiary children as quickly as possible, starting with safe housing.

Your timely financial investment will ensure 12,000 families won’t be forgotten or alone as they rebuild their lives. Your gift will provide families with the construction materials to restore their homes and dignity. With schools, churches and roads demolished by the earthquake, your gift will allow 34 local church partners to create welcoming spaces so beneficiary children can attend program days again—so they can heal and thrive as they experience God’s love.

What your gift will do

  • Provide transitional spaces for 34 local church partners:
    • Sheet metal, wood, cement, sand and gravel
    • Transportation and labour
  • Build temporary shelters for 11,800 beneficiary families and 200 staff:
    • Sheet metal, wood, cement, sand and gravel
    • Transportation and labour
  • Administration and implementer costs:
    • Salary, meals, fuel and lodging


  • Local contribution: US$2,570,000
  • Handling of funds: In collaboration with the 34 participating church partners, Compassion Haiti will oversee the budget to ensure churches and families receive adequate and appropriate resources for their rebuilds. Based on past experience after Hurricane Matthew, the best strategy is for local church partners to distribute coupons to beneficiary families so they can collect their building materials from a local provider. Beneficiary families will then receive financial assistance to cover labour costs.
  • Follow-up: Local pastors and staff implementers will stay in close contact with families to assess their progress and meet other urgent needs.

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.