Sunday, January 24, 2010

Update Jan 23rd, 2010: HHRD's Haiti Relief Efforts

Update from Haiti by Br. Irfan Khurshid, Director HHRD: International Projects.He also allowed us to talk with Imam Abdul Ali, who is the Imam of Masjid At-Tawhidin Haiti. And he was... there when the earthquake hit.

How it was to be in the earthquake: Imam recalls what it was like during the earthquake, “When it happened I was with my wife, and everything was shaking…we ran towards the door to get out and my wife fell. She’s eight months pregnant. Thank God she’s fine.”

The first night they spent the night outside and the next day they decided to sleep in the masjid.

After the earthquake:
Imam relates that, people had been taken by panic. They didn’t know when it was going to stop. They wanted to go back home, but the foundations of their homes had been fractured. When they realized they were missing family member, they rushed back to their homes. After a few hours they realized what had really happened, the houses around them had been flattened by the quake. “Everybody was missing somebody.”

Items most needed:
Immediate need is of three things Imam explained, “Cover (shelter), medication and food/water.” Br. Irfan wants to let the donors know, “You name it, and everything is needed here.” Food and drinking water is first priority. It takes about $10,000 to $12,000 to fill one truck of needed items of food, drinking water, baby milk, diapers, clothing, medication, sanitary items for women and so on. They have lost everything. Therefore they are in need of everything.

Security Issue within Haiti: “Most organizations are fearful of their safety” Irfan Khurshid. He told HHRD that when a truck or convoy enters the city limits of Haiti, people attack it, due to the lack of food and water. Safety is an issue at the moment. “Relief agencies are getting in, but distribution is slow. You have no control over it,” said Irfan Khurshid.

Situation of Haitians now: “Situation is chaotic, there’s no law and order,” described Irfan Khurshid. People are living in open grounds and using sheets as shelter. There are still tremors and after shocks that have the people of Haiti traumatized.

Orphans: “Many people have died and donors should support the Haiti Orphans,” urges Br. Irfan, talking about the after math. “The big issue is; where these children are going to live.”

HHRD Clinic: Br. Irfan is in collaboration with the local doctors and volunteers in setting up a clinic. In all the camps that he had visited, he didn’t see a single medical facility that was treating the people. There isn’t much medical help and only a few have access to it.

For the whole interview please visit our website at:

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