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One year after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook Haiti, killing more than 230,000 people, at least another million people are still living in tents, and only 5 percent of the rubble in Port-au-Prince has been cleared. A cholera epidemic claimed the lives of at least another 3,000 people. Tent villages have even been bombed with teargas during recent political protests.
There is no shortage of NGOs working on the island nation, but the situation there remain dire—as a recent Oxfam report points out—and the recovery has "barely begun." Here's a roundup of things you can do to pitch in with the ongoing relief effort.
Help secure clean water for all Haitians
Access to clean water is an ongoing and significant public health threat—severely limited access exacerbated the spread of cholera. Haiti has the highest infant mortality rate in the western hemisphere and at least half of those deaths are due to water borne illnesses.
image via charity: water
So you're a frequent flier piling up those miles? A lot of those miles go unused every year. Guess what: Relief and recovery work require a whole lot of air travel, and your donation is tax deductible. We recommend skipping a trip and sending those miles to the Red Cross.
Give your phone an afterlife
Got an old cell phone collecting dust in a desk drawer? They're out there—by the millions. ReCellular works with the Red Cross to put 100 percent of your phone's value to work. Newer models likely have a second act in relief work.
Haiti has more non-governmental organizations on the ground per capita than any where else in the world—it’s been called "the republic of NGOs." So how to be confident that your donation will reach those most in need? CARE, Mercy Corps, Partners in Health, and Doctors Without Borders each have solid track records in Haiti and are always accepting donations.
Take a volunteer trip
Maybe you’ve got specialized skills and want to do some hands on labor? If you’re willing to pay your own way and are a highly skilled builder, architect, or designer, Architecture For Humanity wants to hear from you. Habitat for Humanity is not sending volunteers currently, but they encourage you to fill out this survey for future deployments.
What Would Sean Penn Do?
"There is no end point," he told a reporter earlier this month. "This is where I'll be when I'm not working, for the rest of my life."
Few have the resources for a Sean Penn level of commitment, but steps one through five are likely within reach.
image via Hollywood Reporter