Organizations and individuals that were involved in the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort in New Orleans are now applying the lessons they learned following that disaster to help the people of earthquake-stricken Haiti.

Launched shortly after the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and surrounding region, the effort was initially called the Haiti Emergency Village Project but has since changed its name to the Louisiana/Haiti Sustainable Village Project. It involves more than 40 disaster recovery and urban infrastructure professionals who are working to build an emergency village in Haiti to provide housing, infrastructure and other services as an alternative to camps.

The project was launched by Jacques Morial, co-director of the Louisiana Justice Institute, and Charles Allen III, director of New Orleans' Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development and chair of that city's Holy Cross Neighborhood Association. Also involved in the project's founding were Dr. Austin Allen, a landscape architect and professor who's been involved in recovery efforts in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, and Tim Duggan of the Make It Right Foundation, LJI's Justice Roars blog reports:
"While we can't imagine the epic scale of devastation and death, we've learned some painful lessons in our own struggle to recover from the floods that followed Katrina, and it's our spiritual responsibility and moral obligation to offer the benefit of our experience, understanding and capacity to help the Haitian people in any way they find useful and appropriate," said Jacques Morial.
The project has already airlifted more than six tons of supplies to medical teams in Haiti, and its New Orleans to Haiti Barge Initiative delivered by sea some 100,000 tons of donated medical supplies, tents, household good and food to the Haitian port of Jacmel earlier this month.

Contributions to the Louisiana/Haiti Sustainable Village Project can be made online through the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation.