As you have all read by now, a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake has struck Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
It is not known at this point how many people have been killed, but tens of thousands are feared dead and casualties could be in the hundreds of thousands.
The devastation has meant a lack of access to drinking water and basic sanitation services, many areas without electricity, and collapsed hospitals.
The Canadian government is responding with emergency aid, and many non-governmental organizations – including Oxfam, Médecins Sans Frontières and avaaz.org – are collecting donations.
Along with this critical immediate assistance, attention is also turning to the long-term development needs of Haiti and how our response now sets part of that course.
Our thoughts are with the Haitian people and with the more than 100,000 Haitian-Canadians.