Responding to the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, HOPE worldwide has rushed to distribute lifesaving supplies of food, water and blankets to remote regions of Haiti. Our relief team managed to arrive in Les Cayes on October 9th with supplies to distribute. A more detailed assessment on the ground will supply important information on how we can best meet the immediate and long-term needs. A second relief team led by Wade Cook and Charles Ham arrived October 10th, bringing more supplies and further assessment resources to inform and enable HOPE worldwide as we assist the Haitian people.
Situation Report - October 10th:
Hurricane Matthew battered vulnerable communities throughout southwestern Haiti with heavy rain and wind of up to 185 mph (296 km/hr). The casualties are reported to be 877 deaths, and tens of thousands became homeless (Reuters). However, the government of Haiti has only confirmed 336 deaths so far (Civil Protection Service).
This disaster has affected an estimated 1.3 million people (UNOCHA). The situation has created life-threatening circumstances with shortages of food, water, and shelter, and an estimated 750,000 people requiring assistance. Emergency shelters are also needed with more than 25,000 houses damaged or destroyed (UNDOP).
HOPE worldwide’s country team in Haiti reported extensive damage in the southwestern cities of Les Cayes, St Jean, Jeremie, and many others. Bridges were destroyed, causing a logistics nightmare and an inability to reach and assess certain affected areas. An aerial assessment reported large devastation in Jeremie city. Telephones and electricity are not functioning, and most people are outside of their homes.
HOPE worldwide has rushed to distribute lifesaving supplies of food, water and blankets to the remote region. Our relief team managed to arrive in Les Cayes on October 9 with supplies to distribute. More detailed assessments on the ground will be supplying important information on how we can best meet the needs of the people. Another relief team led by Wade Cook and Charles Ham arrived October 10, bringing more supplies and further assessment of the actual needs on the ground to enable HOPE worldwide to assist people more effectively.
We are also coordinating efforts with the United Nations and the World Health Organization in Haiti (as well as the American Red Cross and Operation Blessing in the U.S. to address needs in North and South Carolina). One serious issue facing Haiti is the prevention of the secondary disaster risks of cholera and other contagious diseases that are due to poor sanitation and waste management. The issue was re-emphasized in the recent United National Global Health Cluster meeting in Geneva, of which HOPE worldwide has been a member since 1996.
Learning from previous disaster relief and recovery efforts, we know the people of Haiti will need a lot of support from the international community. In the 2010 earthquake, HOPE worldwide not only helped provide relief for Haitians, but also rebuilt houses for families and provided programs for livelihood recovery. We are committed to stand by the people of Haiti and help communities recover and develop readiness for future disasters.
Please visit www.hopeww.org/donatedisaster to support our disaster response efforts.