HEALTHY working horses provide a lifeline to poor farming communities in Haiti, many of which are still suffering from the devastating aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, which killed and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Horses, donkeys and mules provide an essential mode of transport for many rural communities as well as carrying produce to market and assisting with physical labour on farms around the country. Ensuring these animals are fit and healthy can be the difference between a family staying afloat and not having enough money to survive.

International equine charity, World Horse Welfare, has been helping improve the welfare standards of horses in the UK and worldwide for over 90 years.

This June they launched an appeal which will look to raise in excess of £150,000 for a project providing training for communities in rural Haiti to improve care for their working horses and donkeys – which will be matched for every pound by the UK Government.

This money will go towards helping communities learn new skills that can be passed down from generation to generation focusing on areas such as horse care, veterinary treatment and training in saddlery.

Like a lot of the work carried out by the equine charity, not only will the project support owners in improving the health of their working horses but it will also open up income-generating opportunities for local people to train as veterinary agents, saddle pad makers and saddlers – which will help to strengthen local communities and promote sustainable livelihoods.

Parliamentary under secretary of state at the department for international development, Baroness Sugg, commented: “Working horses are a vital lifeline for poor farmers and those working hard to lift themselves out of poverty across Haiti. Horses are used every day to carry produce to be sold at markets, transport much needed water supplies and take their children to school.

“Losing a horse can be disastrous for these families,” she continued. “World Horse Welfare’s UK Aid Match appeal to help communities look after their horses will help to secure the income of entire communities.”

World Horse Welfare chief executive, Roly Owers, explained how important working animals are to the people of Haiti: “'If my donkey is sick then it is as though I’m sick too’ are the words of a working equid owner in Haiti that so eloquently reflect the true importance of working horses, donkeys and mules to the families they support, and how working animals can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world that is still trying to recover from the devastating earthquake in 2010,” she stressed. “Despite this, there is great appetite within communities in rural Haiti to access new skills and knowledge – and empowering local people through training in horse care, saddlery and veterinary treatment not only improves the welfare of their working animals but boosts their independence too.

“We have a unique opportunity to double our impact thanks to the UK government matching every donation we receive until September 17 and would ask everyone to help us make the most of this extraordinary opportunity by helping some of the world’s most challenged people by supporting them in caring for their working animals,” she urged.

For more information on this appeal, call Jessica Stark on: 07900 994002 or email To donate: