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15th Aug 2021

Naomi Osaka pledges to give tournament money to Haiti earthquake relief

Sarah McKenna Barry

“Really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break.”

Tennis star Naomi Osaka has promised to donate her tournament prize money to victims of the earthquake that recently hit Haiti.

The country was devastated by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake yesterday morning which killed 304 people and left 1,800 people injured.

Additionally, hundreds of homes were destroyed, and many Haitians spent the night searching the rubble for people trapped there.

Members of the public joined professional rescue teams in the country’s effort to recover and trace missing persons.

Hospitals, meanwhile, are overburdened as they care for the injured.

The humanitarian disaster led Osaka to release a statement vowing to donate her winnings from an upcoming game to the relief efforts.

Naomi, whose father is Haitian, will compete in the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati tomorrow.

Taking to Twitter, she said: “Really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break.

“I’m about to play a tournament this week and I’ll give all the prize money to relief efforts for Haiti.

“I know our ancestors blood is strong and we’ll keep rising.”

Haiti had previously been hit by an earthquake in 2010 which claimed the lives of 250,000 people and injured 300,000 others.

Yesterday’s earthquake primarily impacted the southwestern part of the country.  Many hotels, hospitals, schools and churches in and around the city of Les Cayes were damaged and destroyed.

The country’s prime minister, Ariel Henry said that Haiti’s citizens need to show “a lot of solidarity with the emergency”.

Henry only became the country’s leader last month, following the assassination of president Jovenel Moïse on 7 July.

President Joe Biden pledged to support the country and approved immediate aid efforts. The Dominican Republic, meanwhile, shipped 10,000 food rations as well as medical equipment.