Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation has announced it’s committing half a million dollars to support relief efforts in Haiti.
The country was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Saturday, August 14th killing over 2,000 people and injuring 12,000 others. According to the United Nations, 53,000 buildings collapsed leaving many without shelter, food or basic necessities. (You can learn more about the current situation here.)
Focusing its efforts on the worst-hit city of Les Cayes, the foundation says it understands “the need for a community-based approach” and is distributing the $500,000 (US) between six organisations doing vital work on the ground:
They include the Haiti Air Ambulance which transports doctors, nurses and other health professionals into the country and moves patients to hospital; CapraCare, a non-profit providing mental health services and monitoring displaced populations; and FOKAL, an organisation providing cash transfers to smallholder farmers such as cocoa growers to help them build urgent shelter and rebuild their businesses. (Other organisations include Health Equity International, Project Medishare and Zanmi Lasante.)
In a message posted to social media the Haiti Air Ambulance thanked Rihanna for stepping up when they need it most:
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“Thank you so much for your generous consideration @claralionelfdn @badgalriri. With each donation we receive, we become all that much closer to our goal to help more people in Haiti for emergency services. Thank you for making a difference through your compassion and generosity.”
And while the emergency funding is clearly a vital part in providing support to the people of Haiti, the foundation acknowledges that “long-term investments” are what’s really needed to help communities withstand future natural disasters – something they’re already working on through their $10 million Climate Resilience Initiative.
The project is aimed at making the Caribbean disaster-resilient through infrastructure hardening programs of schools, buildings and health clinics.
“Although we know there is much, much more that is needed to support recovery and rebuilding efforts in Haiti, this is a start,” the Clara Lionel Foundation shares on their site, encouraging us all to contribute what we can too.
Rihanna started her foundation in 2012 to help fund education initiatives around the world and support disaster relief efforts. It’s named after her late grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite.
(Feature Image Credit: Ron Adar/Shutterstock.com)
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