Aug. 19 is World Humanitarian Day, a United Nations effort to “recognize
the aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service, and mobilize
people to advocate for humanitarian action.” St. Joseph Health,
committing to our four core values, joins this world-wide effort with
the recent announcement that funding in the amount of $30,000 was provided
from the St. Joseph Health Community Partnership Fund’s Disaster
Relief Initiative to Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to aid the people
On April 16, 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador, destroying
buildings, homes, and infrastructure. It claimed hundreds of lives. As
many as 100,000 people have been affected in the worst earthquake in the
country since 1979. The government declared a state of emergency in six
provinces, and dozens of towns along the southern coast were severely
devastated, with an estimated 85% of structures collapsed. Thousands are
in need of temporary shelter and access to safe water and sanitation.
Ecuador is currently in an El Niño year, and lack of shelter leaves
residents exposed to the elements.
Through SJH’s much-need funding, CRS was assisted in providing shelter,
latrines, showers, hand washing stations, and potable water. Emergency
shelter kits, featuring a design that was used successfully in the 2007
coastal earthquake in Peru, were provided to 3,000 people (600 families)
whose homes have been destroyed.
SJH’s Disaster Relief Funds are made possible through the St. Joseph
Health Care for the Poor Program which allocates 10 percent of net income
from all SJH ministries to the St. Joseph Health Community Partnership
Fund to support charitable initiatives, primarily to assist low-income
and underserved populations.