Following the devastating earthquake which took place in Haiti on Tuesday 12th January 2010, the President of the Freemasons' Grand Charity has approved two emergency grants totalling £30,000.
The 7.3-magnitude quake, Haiti's worst in two centuries, struck at 16:53 local time (21:53 GMT) on Tuesday. The epicentre was within 10 miles of the centre of the densely-populated capital, where around one million people live, and more than 50,000 people are feared dead.
The Red Cross have pre-positioned relief supplies for 3,000 families in Haiti. These emergency supplies consist of kitchen kits, shelter kits and tarpaulins, personal hygiene kits, blankets and containers for storing drinking water. Red Cross volunteers in Haiti are currently assisting the injured and supporting hospitals who do not have enough capacity to deal with this emergency. The most urgent needs at this time are search and rescue, field hospitals, emergency health, water purification, emergency shelter, logistics and telecommunications.
On the 20th January 2010, in response to requests from members of the Craft and as the extent of the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti became clearer, the Council of the Freemasons' Grand Charity opened a dedicated Relief Chest. This centrally-administered service is for those who would like their donation for victims of the earthquake to be part of a co-ordinated Masonic response.
Any individual Freemason or Lodge wishing to make a donation via the Council's Relief Chest and in support of the longer-term recovery efforts can do so by sending a cheque payable to "The Freemasons' Grand Charity" to: Relief Chest Scheme, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ and noting that it is to be paid into the Haiti Earthquake 2010 Relief Chest No. E0125.