- (Photo: Samaritan's Purse)
International relief organization Samaritan's Purse has committed to construct 7,500 shelters for victims still without homes, six months after the massive earthquake in Haiti.
Already, the Christian organization, led by evangelist Franklin Graham, has completed 2,360 transitional shelters, more than any other relief agency in Haiti.
"Months have passed since the quake, but the suffering continues for the people of Haiti," said Graham, in a statement Tuesday. "This is the largest disaster response in the history of Samaritan's Purse and we are working as fast as we can to build thousands of shelters for those families still living outdoors."
Hundreds of thousands of people remain homeless since the 7.0-magnitude quake. The tents many are currently living in are proving to be inadequate in the hurricane season.
"Sometimes it rains all day and all week. People have no place to go," said Jean Francois, a Haiti earthquake survivor.
Samaritan's Purse is building wood framed 12-feet-by-12-feet shelters to provide some relief from the summer heat and intense evening storms.
Recovery in the Caribbean country is expected to take many years and will require consistent effort by all Haiti's partners, said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He assured this week that Haiti will continue to be a priority of the United Nations.
The N.C.-based Samaritan's Purse, meanwhile, is continuing to provide shelter, food, clean water, physicians and education to Haitians.
Food has been distributed to over 300,000 people and 100 hand pumps are being rehabilitated in Port-au-Prince, the relief organization reported. Salaries are also being provided for 200 teachers in 20 schools and 400 women are receiving training on job skills and health. Samaritan's Purse has raised $51 million for relief and recovery work in Haiti.
The Jan. 12 quake left a quarter million of the country's nine million people dead and at least 1.3 million homeless after damaging more than 250,000 homes and 30,000 commercial buildings.