Helping Haiti’s poorest victims through Partners in Health

This post was contributed by Barbara Rylko-Bauer.

I would like to add some additional information about why donating to the Haiti earthquake relief effort via Partners in Health (the NGO started by Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, and Jim Yong Kim) makes sense for this particular crisis.

* PIH has had an ever-expanding presence in Haiti since 1985 and is currently the largest NGO healthcare provider in Haiti, with a focus especially on the poorest populations.

* Contributions through PIH are especially valuable in that their overhead is a mere 5.7%, which means that 94.3% of money donated goes directly to programs.

* Their focus is on health and healthcare, but they use a comprehensive care model that includes disease treatment and prevention, as well as providing help with housing, clean water, food security, education, environment renewal, and job creation.

* They are committed to engaging communities in their own care and solving of the social problems of poverty.

* They are unique in their commitment to using local expertise, local populations, and local resources, and to working within the public sector, thereby helping to strengthen Haiti’s infrastructure.

* Their approach links health to social justice, self-generated sustainability, self-determination, and human rights.

* Paul Farmer (a medical anthropologist and infectious disease physician and Exec. V.P. of PIH) is currently the U.N. Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti (working with Bill Clinton). In this capacity, he has a vast amount of knowledge regarding the needs of the Haitian government and the Haitian people, especially at this profound time of crisis.

PIH has staff and capacity to immediately respond with relief efforts on the ground. Whatever amount you give, large or small, will go directly toward helping those in need in Haiti, especially the poorest (who usually suffer the most in such crises).

For more information and to DONATE, please go to:

Partners in Health has created a weblink specifically focused on the earthquake relief efforts:

An op-ed piece written by Tracy Kidder in today’s New York Times underscores the critical role that PIH is and will be playing in the relief efforts surrounding health care and treatment in the coming days, weeks, and months in Haiti. Here is an excerpt:

This week, the list of things that Haiti needs, things like jobs and food and reforestation, has suddenly grown a great deal longer. The earthquake struck mainly the capital and its environs, the most densely populated part of the country, where organizations like the Red Cross and the United Nations have their headquarters. A lot of the places that could have been used for disaster relief — including the central hospital, such as it was — are now themselves disaster areas.

But there are effective aid organizations working in Haiti. At least one has not been crippled by the earthquake. Partners in Health, or in Haitian Creole Zanmi Lasante, has been the largest health care provider in rural Haiti. (I serve on this organization’s development committee.) It operates, in partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health, some 10 hospitals and clinics, all far from the capital and all still intact. As a result of this calamity, Partners in Health probably just became the largest health care provider still standing in all Haiti,” (Kidder 2010).

You can read Kidder’s entire op-ed piece, Country Without a Net, here.

Thank you for your interest, support, and solidarity with the Haitian people.

Barbara Rylko-Bauer

2 replies on “Helping Haiti’s poorest victims through Partners in Health”

We’ve all heard the devastating news — Haiti was struck yesterday by one of its worst natural disasters in the last 200 years

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