Yesterday the banks reopened in Haiti for the first time since the earthquake rocked the small island on January 12th.
Mercy Corps' spokeswoman Cassandra Nelson, who is on the ground in Port-au-Prince, stressed the importance of the banks reopening in her latest post on the Mercy Corps blog. "This means a lot to the aid effort, because there are a lot of people in Port-au-Prince who have some money — maybe not a lot — but they were having to live on handouts simply because they couldn't access their money." Without cash on hand, even wealthier Haitians were forced to seek handouts while the banks were closed.
As cash became more readily available throughout the day, Nelson saw the street economy reinvigorate from the rubble of damaged store fronts. Hawkers selling bananas and mangoes are helping restart the flow of food and resources within the country, allowing aid agencies to focus on those who are most in need of help.
You can keep up with the latest news about Mercy Corps' relief efforts in Haiti by clicking here.