As if things couldn’t get any worse for Haiti, 1.2 million people are now homeless, living in crowded makeshift open-air "spontaneous settlements" without shelter beyond maybe a bedsheet. The rainy season is on its way. It’s hard to imagine the misery – no protection from the elements, no sanitation–to say nothing of the risks of epidemic disease.

While the UN humanitarian response has succeeded in filling 107% of requested funds for health, a major achievement, only 27% of funds requested for shelter needs have been donated so far. Some causes may just be sexier than others – but that doesn’t mean they’re less essential.

Mark Leon Goldberg has the details at UNdispatch, including information on how to donate ( it’s about two-thirds down the page). The rains start in May, so if you were thinking it’s maybe time to make (another) donation to Haitian relief, you’re right.

A tarp that can shelter a family of 5 costs only $15; a shelter kit costs around $30.