CARE teams are on the ground in hard-hit areas scaling up the response, which includes distributing hot meals, clean water, tarps and hygiene kits.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Oct. 10, 2016) — Six days after hurricane Matthew’s 145-mph winds, heavy rain and storm surges wreaked havoc in the southern part of Haiti, CARE is scaling up its response to help Haitians survive and build back in a way that makes them more resilient to future storms.
Long at work in Haiti, CARE was implementing its hurricane response before Matthew struck and has accelerated its effort in the storm’s wake. CARE has delivered 12,000 hot meals thus far, mainly in the country’s southeast and remote Grand’Anse region, as well as 500 hygiene kits, 2,500 plastic tarps for temporary shelter and 6,000 water purification tablets. It is part of a larger CARE effort to reach 50,000 affected Haitians with food, clean water and other supplies. All told, 1.1 million people have been affected; 350,000 of them are in need of assistance.
“Access remains a challenge as big aid trucks have difficulties on roads that are littered with tree trunks and other debris,” said Jean-Michel Vigreux, CARE’s country director in Haiti. “But everyone works hand-in-hand to overcome those challenges — and that underscores the resilience and solidarity of the Haitian people. More than 60 years of work in Haiti have shown us that, with the right support, Haitians can and will build back stronger — as families, communities and a nation.”
As roads to the southwest open up, CARE will distribute other supplies such as blankets and mattresses. Water purification tablets and hygiene kits remain particularly urgent as the threat of cholera grows.
With more information coming from the affected areas, Matthew’s devastation becomes increasingly obvious: “The damage here in Les Cayes is hard to believe, even as I see it with my own eyes,” said Holly Frew, CARE’s emergency communications manager. “Matthew has uprooted massive trees and plunged them into buildings. Homes are utterly destroyed. And downed power lines litter the streets.”
CARE staff report that some markets have reopened, but they also point out the long road to recovery. Thousands of Haitians have lost their homes and belongings, finding shelter temporarily in overcrowded, communal buildings.
Beyond its plans to scale up its immediate aid, CARE is simultaneously planning its longer-term reconstruction and recovery effort to help communities get back on their feet and become self-reliant as soon as possible. Those plans will require US$15 million over two years, US$1.7 of which has been secured to date. Those wishing to support CARE’s response in Haiti can learn more and donate securely here.
CARE has worked in Haiti since 1954, when Hurricane Hazel killed as many as 1,000 people. And after the deadly 2010 earthquake, CARE reached more than 290,000 people with food, clean water, temporary shelter and other vital services. Beyond its emergency response, CARE implements long-term development programs in education, food and nutrition security, livelihood development and women’s economic empowerment that build the resilience of the most vulnerable families.
Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. That’s why women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve education and health, create economic opportunity, respond to emergencies and confront hunger. Last year CARE worked in 95 countries and reached more than 65 million people around the world. To learn more, visit www.care.org.
Nicole Harris, email@example.com, 404-735-0871
Holly Frew, firstname.lastname@example.org, 770-842-6188