CNS PHOTO KENA BETANCUT, REUTERS
A woman washes clothes in Port-au-Prince early this year next to a house destroyed by the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti.
OTTAWA – As the second anniversary of Haiti's catastrophic 2010 earthquake approaches, a delegation from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is visiting the country on a solidarity mission.
The Dec. 14-21 visit by Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, the CCCB president, who was accompanied by vice president Gatineau Archbishop Paul-André Durocher and the conference's assistant general secretary Bede Hubbard, is intended to celebrate and deepen the relationship between the bishops of Canada and Haiti.
It will also include visits to the projects Canadian Catholics funded through the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP).
The earthquake killed more than 220,000 people, seriously injured more than 300,000 and devastated large sections of Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Léogâne and other areas.
Three million people were left homeless or otherwise seriously affected.
Canadian Catholics donated more than $20 million towards emergency relief and long-term reconstruction efforts in Haiti.
Of that money, CCODP has already disbursed $2.8 million for emergency relief through 24 partners, including several religious communities. CCODP has committed $10 million for reconstruction projects for 2011-13.
The bishops also intend to "recognize and encourage the dedicated work of Canadian religious and other Canadian volunteers in Haiti," according to a CCCB press release.
Accompanying the CCCB delegation are top officials of Development and Peace.
The delegation will not only visit CCODP projects but also those of Caritas Internationalis partners in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince and in Jacmel, one of the worst-hit areas.