Columbia Responds to Haiti Earthquake

Information on relief efforts and how to help
Jan. 22, 2010Bookmark and Share

As the world receives more information and images of the terrible devastation in Haiti, we join with others around the globe in conveying our sympathy and support for all those affected by this disaster. Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti, who will continue to face enormous challenges in the days and weeks ahead. Across the University, students, faculty and staff are doing their part to help communities in Haiti.

Columbia Community Helps Raise Funds and Donations
At the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), six faculty members from the College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) are already on the ground or deploying shortly to volunteer their expertise in the relief efforts. The P&S volunteers are all part of the Columbia University International Emergency Medicine Fellowship Program, a collaboration between the Mailman School of Public Health Population and Family Health Program on Forced Migration and Health and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Their deployment has been organized through the International Medical Corps, a nongovernmental organization.
CUMC has also donated 43 cases of medical supplies—including much-needed eye care materials, particularly helpful for victims and rescue teams exposed to dirt, dust and debris. The equipment will be used to help support emergency health operations of Partners in Health and other organizations working on the ground in Haiti.
Here on campus, several efforts have been quickly coordinated by students to collect and send needed items to Haiti requested by organizations like the Red Cross. Columbia Business School, the School of Social Work and Teachers College have each planned separate fundraisers and donation collections. The business school has planned a Haiti relief night on Friday, Jan. 22, at the Pourhouse. Donations at the door and all proceeds will be going to the Clinton Foundation.
The School of Social Work’s donation drive runs this week and Tuesday through Friday next week, with collections at several locations from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. including the school’s lobby. Monetary donations were also collected earlier this week to support the relief effort of Doctors Without Borders. Teachers College has launched a food and clothing donation drive, with details on the Teachers College website.
Student groups at Columbia Law School have been raising money to aid survivors of the earthquake through Partners in Health. The fundraising effort is being led by the Latino/a Law Students Association, the Black Law Students Association, the National Lawyers Guild and the Asian and Pacific American Law Students Association. Law students are working on a number of other initiatives, including the student arm of Amnesty International, which asked its members to assist in collecting supplies to be sent to Haiti through Partners in Health. The Columbia Law School Student Senate also voted to donate a portion of ticket sales from the annual Barristers Ball to the Haitian relief efforts.
The law school’s Social Justice Initiatives’ pro bono project has partnered with Sanctuary for Families and other nonprofit and legal groups to assist on temporary protective status work for Haitians who were already in the U.S. on the day of the earthquake.
More on Donations and Funds for Haiti Earthquake Relief
For individuals interested in helping those affected by the earthquake, there are a number of organizations accepting donations that will help bring critical aid to affected communities. Please note that in light of reports of Haiti earthquake relief scams, donations should be made directly to reputable organizations and not through third-party sources. Here we list a few verifiable organizations currently seeking donations to help Haiti:
Partners in Health
Partners in Health, led by Dr. Paul Farmer, and its partner organization Zanmi Lasante have worked in Haiti for nearly 25 years providing health care to the poor. Donations will help the organization provide critical medical services to people, including those affected by the earthquake.
International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee has deployed its Emergency Response Team to Haiti to deliver help to the devastated city of Port-au-Prince. Its team includes experts in emergency health, shelter, and children’s welfare. They will be working with local aid groups to provide vital help to survivors of the massive earthquake. Meanwhile, the IRC has committed to raising $15 million for emergency needs in Haiti over the next year and an additional $15 million for long-term rehabilitation.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
The U.S. fundraising arm of the United Nations Children’s Fund is accepting donations on behalf of UNICEF to aid children in Haiti. It is absorbing all associated administrative costs so that 100 percent of all donations will support UNICEF's relief efforts for affected children. Visit their website to donate or call 1.800.FOR.KIDS (800-367-5437).
This international medical relief organization is supporting emergency medical care for the men, women and children in Haiti. Donations can be made on the organization’s website or by phone (888-392-0392). 
World Food Programme
The United Nations World Food Programme is providing food to communities affected by the earthquake. Donations are being accepted online at their website.
Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development
The American Red Cross is working with its partners in the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network, including the Haitian Red Cross, and other partners to assist those affected by this disaster. Donations to the American Red Cross will help send relief supplies, mobilize relief workers and provide financial resources and recovery. Donations can be made online at the Red Cross website.