Open Society Announces $2.5 Million for Haiti Relief

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Open Society Announces $2.5 Million for Haiti Relief

NEW YORK—The Open Society Foundations today announced $2.5 million in emergency relief for Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating August 14th earthquake in the southwest of the country that claimed more than 2,000 lives and left hundreds of others still missing. 

The funding will go to support smallholder farmers in the region as well as micro-agribusinesses, many of them run by women, who together play a vital role in the local food supply chain, which has been seriously disrupted by the disaster. 

The grants, which will be guided by FOKAL, Open Society's foundation in Haiti, will provide emergency aid to farmers and agricultural workers, many of them involved in cocoa growing and dairy farming, while supporting their efforts to organize and mobilize in response to the earthquake.

This direct assistance aims to assist approximately 10,000 families in extreme need by enabling them to access and build shelter, to buy food and water, and to plant quick-growing crops.

“This financial aid is significant to continue our work on the ground responding to the emergency,” said Lorraine Mangonés, executive director of FOKAL. “It will also help intermediary technical support structures working closely with the farmers on the ground to get back on their feet so they can effectively engage in reconstruction and recovery efforts.” 

The August quake only deepened the crisis in Haiti, which was already reeling from the assassination of Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, just a month earlier.

“We hope the international community’s response to the earthquake learns from past mistakes attending Haiti’s deadly 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people. It is now time to empower the Haitian people to have dignified agency in their own recovery,” said Mangonés.

Through FOKAL, the Open Society Foundations has worked for the past two decades to help promote civil society efforts to establish a just and durable democratic society in Haiti. For more information, please visit FOKAL’s website.