Reports are emerging from Haiti of incredible death and destruction in the wake of yesterday’s earthquake, which measured 7.0 magnitude (BBC coverage; CNN coverage). Countless buildings—including the presidential palace and parliament building—have been destroyed or severely damaged in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Hospitals, schools, churches, homes, and more are in ruins.

The Prime Minister of Haiti estimates that over 100,000 have been killed. Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of the Catholic Archdiocese of Haiti is among the dead.

As the magnitude of this catastrophe becomes clearer, I urge all of my readers to donate to reputable private and religious aid agencies. Haiti is among the poorest countries in the world and its people are in desperate need of assistance. The government of Haiti is, however, among the world’s most corrupt, so government-to-government aid may just go to waste. Our efforts are better spent on non-governmental aid groups.

I recommend making a donation to Catholic Relief Services (especially given the large Catholic presence in Haiti) or the Red Cross, both of which can very quickly put the money to good use.