Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief is on alert for the developing Southern Baptist relief effort aimed at helping Haitians affected by the deadly earthquake that hit the island on Jan. 12.
According to Kentucky Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Associate Coy Webb, the KBC will “more than likely send an assessment team within the next week, but everything right now depends upon transportation.”
Webb said the main airport in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian city most affected by the earthquake, is closed and that security is a serious concern. Once transportation reopens, a small team of Kentucky and Mississippi Baptists will travel down to conduct initial assessment of the needs.
“There is tremendous devastation. The estimates are already at 50,000 casualties and tens of thousands of people left homeless,” said Webb.
Southern Baptist missionaries stationed in the Dominican Republic prior to the quake have already been able to respond and are currently setting up a feeding operation to begin meeting the needs of those left homeless by the disaster, he said.
After the assessment takes place and once a more detailed plan is in place, Webb said Kentucky Baptist disaster relief volunteers will be needed to help with the disaster recovery.
According to a report from Baptist Global Response, the Southern Baptist Convention’s international relief and development organization, Florida Baptists are leading the initial relief effort since the International Mission Board does not have long-term personnel stationed in the country. Florida Baptists have had ministry relationships for more than 20 years and have staff members stationed in the country.
The effort is already anticipated to last several years.
Kentucky Baptists desiring to help are encouraged to give monetary donations through the KBC’s fund designated for the Haiti relief effort. Contributions may be sent to the KBC, P.O. Box 856300, Dept. 124, Louisville, KY 40285-9900. Note “Haiti Earthquake” in the check memo. Online donations are also being accepted at www.kybaptist.org/dr.