Federation's Overseas Partner JDC Brings Emergency Support to Victims of Hurricane Matthew
By Rebecca Caspi
As Floridians and others along the southeastern US coast braced for the impact of Hurricane Matthew last week, Haiti was already in the midst of its biggest humanitarian disaster since the 2010 Earthquake. Matthew left a trail of devastation in the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, killing hundreds and affecting more than 1 million people.
Due to the destruction or damage of major infrastructure – particularly cell communications, key bridges, airport, and roads – there has not yet been a full assessment of the damage caused by the hurricane and it is very difficult to get to the areas impacted to retrieve concrete information about the needs.
However, some roads have been cleared and reports from international organizations as well as JDC's field representative indicate that there is severe destruction, food shortages, and health concerns including cholera (510 cases have been officially reported) and dehydration.
JDC is working with UNICEF to provide hygiene kits and water purification tablets and is teaming up with Heart to Heart to help control and prevent additional cholera cases.
The government has officially reported 473 deaths, but that number is unfortunately expected to rise. 2.1 million people, including 894,057 children, are affected. Close to 13% of the population is in need of assistance. 750,000 people need urgent humanitarian aid including access to a sufficient supply of quality water, education, shelter, child protection, health and nutrition, and an estimated 175,000 people have been displaced.
JDC has opened a mailbox to provide critical medical aid to the most vulnerable in five hard-hit areas in Haiti.