With 70,000 bodies officially recovered after last Tuesday's earthquake, World Vision says the total death toll likely will be well over 100,000. Meanwhile, aid and relief organizations have raised more than $220 million to help. World Vision, one of the world's largest Christian ministries, has raised $31 million to provide food, medical aid, and shelter. Christianity Today online editor Sarah Pulliam Bailey spoke by phone with World Vision media relations manager Laura Blank, who is in Port-au-Prince.

What is it like there?

Many of the people we're going to in these distributions in the last 32-48 hours have said they have no food or water or very little since the earthquake, and we're almost a week out. As you drive around the city you see total devastation.

That's been very hard on our staff, because they are not immune from the disaster. The disaster affected the rich and the poor, uptown, downtown, and many of them have lost their homes or suffered injuries or family members are lost or injured in the quake.

We not only do emergency relief, we also do development, so we've already been here in Port-au-Prince. Throughout Haiti, we have several hundred staff members. We already have the infrastructure in place, we know the local community and government, and our staff speaks the language.

We had some medical supplies pre-positioned before the hurricane season, so we started providing hospitals with supplies and then we began providing clothing, hygiene kits, blankets, water containers, tents, food, and water.

It sounds like you were somewhat prepared.

We had a small amount of supplies: enough to help about 1,500 people. But obviously the scale of this disaster is massive. Three million people out of a city of four million have been affected by the earthquake. We got our first relief flight in on Friday night, and we've gotten several more in over the past couple of days.

But there are some challenges here, just in operating—the fuel shortage is becoming a really big problem. Yesterday, we heard that the United Nations was estimating that there is just two or three days of fuel left, so they were working with the government to try to increase that. But everywhere you go in the city you see fuel lines, people waiting for hours to try to get a little bit of gasoline for their vehicle. The same goes for us. If we don't have fuel in our vehicles, we can't get from the warehouse to the distribution site. We actually had to ask our staff in the Dominican Republic to bring in some fuel, but that's obviously a short-term solution.

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The other concern is communication. A phone conversation is challenging. The cell-phone service here is still down, text messages rarely go through, cell phone calls don't work at all, and landlines are virtually down. We have one, maybe two phones here at the office that are working. So it's been a challenge to coordinate with our team and then get the relief and supplies out quickly.

How many people do you have there?

World Vision has a staff of about 800 around Haiti. Within Port-au-Prince, we probably have a staff of about 100. We've had staff come in from the United States, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the U.K., Latin America, and the Dominican Republic. In addition to our local staff, we have probably 75 to 100 people here now.

A similar thing happened when we were in the Myanmar cyclone; we were one of just three organizations that had been on the ground long-term, that had been building relationships with local community leaders and national government staff. So that serves us well when you're in a chaotic situation like this. The disaster people are suffering and you need to respond quickly. We don't have to fly in on the ground and then figure out who speaks the language or what the infrastructure is.

What does your day-to-day activity look like?

People have been working almost around the clock. Some staff members are going to the airport to greet relief flights that get in and other staff take those supplies to our warehouse. Other staff are here at the warehouse organizing supplies, and other staff came out for distribution. There are also a lot of coordinating meetings that are happening throughout the day with local ministries like the Ministry of Health, and the U.N., and other NGOs that also are trying to coordinate the relief efforts with all the groups.

We want to be wise about how we do things like distribution. You can't just walk in there, surprise people and open a truck with a bunch of water bottles. It can cause chaos. So you want to do a little bit of planning to make sure things are orderly, that we have the right amount of supplies, that we have the right supplies to meet their needs. For example, you don't want to give food that they have to cook if they don't have a way to cook the food.

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A few days after the earthquake, are you noticing changes?

The other thing I've noticed here—it's just one of the senses you take in—is the smell. When you're walking by the camps you see these camps are overrun now with people and children, and the people are trying to live. So that involves food and laundry, and the children are trying to play in the midst of the chaos.

There's a smell though that hangs in the air when you walk past these camps. It's hot, and people have been living outside, they obviously don't have access to water to bathe. There's the smell of human waste in the air, and also a lot of the dead bodies that haven't been collected.

You see most Haitians now wearing masks when they're outside walking down the streets—face masks, or bandanas, sometimes even toothpaste in their nostrils or under their nose, because the smell kind of helps alleviate the smell of the camps.

Can you tell me about the religious climate there? We've read reports that the country is predominantly Catholic with some Protestants, while some practice voodoo.

I don't really know the mix of the spiritual backgrounds here, but there's no question there's a spiritual underpinning to the foundation of the city. Almost every night since I've been here, and it's been almost a week now, when darkness falls you would think it would start to get violent or people would start to be uncomfortable, but the sound I hear is singing. And I asked one of the staff members when I first heard it, because I thought maybe there was a church nearby. She said "No, they're singing a hymn." They were singing, in French, "Blessed be the name of the Lord." They were singing it over and over again, and it was profound to hear that. I knew they were in camps, many of them were homeless and had lost family or friends and they were still praising the Lord singing hymns and traditional Haitian songs.

How does this compare to China or Turkey or other recent earthquake relief efforts?

Many of my colleagues have said they haven't seen anything like this, in terms of the scale of the devastation and complications, since the tsunami in 2004. So there are a lot of people here who have done this for a long time and been deployed to dozens of disasters around the world, and this certainly seems to be on the top of the list.

Can you compare to the tsunami or Katrina relief efforts?

When the tsunami hit in 2004, it took everything with it, so groups who responded on the ground had nothing to do but start rebuilding, collect dead bodies, and help people who survived. They didn't have the task of clearing away the rubble. You've got all of the buildings that were in Port-au-Prince, but they haven't disappeared. So before you can even talk about rebuilding and providing homes for people and workplaces and schools, you have to talk about getting rid of many, many buildings and heavy concrete in Port-au-Prince.

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There's a lot of attention right after a disaster with lots of people here talking, Twittering, and Facebooking about it. What long-term impacts do you see it having on the country?

I think that's the question everyone's asking. While the people are still trying to make it from day to day, to find food and water and families, I think when you walk around the streets you can't help but wonder what the future is for Port-au-Prince. There is no part of the city that hasn't been touched, from the bigger institutions to restaurants to music halls to the parks to homes and schools. Even the fact that the schools have been damaged speaks to the fact that it could impact an entire generation of children. The children are out of school right now and a lot of them don't have a school to go back to, because the schools are ruined. School has been canceled at least until mid-February, but it could be much longer.

Have you seen a direct impact on children yet?

We sent a staff member out to a border town called Jimani in the Dominican Republic on the border of the two countries. We had heard reports that unaccompanied children were leaving Port-au-Prince and looking for help in the Dominican Republic or outside Port-au-Prince. She got there today and said there are several hundred children that appear to be alone and possibly orphans. World Vision is a child-focused organization, and in the aftermath of many of these natural disasters children are often the ones that get forgotten. Parents are so distracted with the day-to-day survival—how do I find food, how do I find water, where do I stay, can I get a job—that they don't know what to do with their children, and when school's out, the children are left with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Sometimes they can be left in the care of another child or maybe a family member, a parent. But it really leaves them vulnerable both physically and emotionally. They don't have anywhere to process what they've been through. So we're talking about ways to help them so they don't get forgotten. That's Haiti's next generation.

Related Elsewhere:

World Vision's site offers regular updates on the situation in Haiti and its relief efforts.

More Christianity Today coverage of the Haiti earthquake relief is available in our full coverage section and our liveblog.