Haiti remains a focus for Church humanitarian relief efforts

Haiti's devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake in January 2010 and a deadly cholera outbreak last month has kept the Caribbean island country a central focal point for Church humanitarian-relief efforts for a year.

The Jan. 12, 2010, quake killed an estimated 230,000 Haitians, injured 300,000 and left another 1.5 million homeless, and international non-government organizations (NGOs) scrambled to help provide aid and relief. But the challenges then have only worsened through the ensuing months, stymied by impeding mountains of concrete rubble, a crippled Third World economy and a worsening government that lacks leadership and stability.

"We're in as good or better of a place as any NGO," said Lynn Samsel, the Church's director of humanitarian emergency response and community services, of ongoing efforts in Haiti.

An example of the slow processes on the island: The Church has authorized the building of a bishop's storehouse in Port-au-Prince, used by local leaders to store and distribute food and commodities. Leaders in Salt Lake City have authorized breaking ground to commence construction but are still awaiting final approval from the Haitian government.

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