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Red Cross raises its appeal for Haiti

02 December 2016


Torn down: a woman stands in the ruins of her home in Haiti, which was struck by Hurricane Matthew in early October. More than two million people have been affected, including about 900,000 children. World Vision has so far reached 30,000 people with disaster relief supplies

Torn down: a woman stands in the ruins of her home in Haiti, which was struck by Hurricane Matthew in early October. More than two million people have...

MORE aid is urgently needed for Haiti and the surrounding islands, which were devastated by Hurricane Matthew two months ago (News, 7 October).

The International Red Cross has raised its appeal to £23 million to help thousands of people still without homes or food supplies after the hurricane struck in early October.

The worst-affected area was Haiti, where more than 1000 people died and thousands of homes were flattened. Survivors have also had to battle an outbreak of cholera in the weeks after the disaster (News, 16 October).

The Red Cross’s new appeal will focus on providing health care and disease prevention, and providing safe drinking-water and shelter. “The devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew is immense, and the effects will be felt for years,” the president of the Haiti Red Cross Society, Dr Jean-Pierre Guiteau, said.

Haiti had not recovered from the earthquake of 2010, in which more than 220,000 people died.

Tearfund, which is working with partners in Haiti, estimates that between three and five million people have been affected by the hurricane, and the nation’s harvest has been destroyed.

The hurricane also struck Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas, as well as south-eastern states of the United States.

A spokesman for World Vision UK, Henry Makiwa, said: “Haiti’s long-term state of food security is a major issue. The Haitian interim president has said there will be severe food insecurity in the next few months, affecting up to one million people. World Vision is one of the first aid agencies that are looking ahead into the future and conducting seed distribution to communities.

“So far, World Vision has reached 70,000 beneficiaries with food distributions in La Gonave. We are trying to push into the most hard to reach areas on the island with distributions to Grand Boucan, in Nippes.”

The Bishop of Nassau, the Rt Revd Laish Boyd, told worshippers in a pastoral letter read out in all churches: “God is mightier than Hurricane Matthew and all of the damage and displacement caused. Whatever the damage and disruption that Matthew has wrought, God can and will do ten times that amount in healing, recovery and restoration.”

Many churches and schools in the diocese were damaged in the hurricane.

In the US, the last of the 378 emergency Red Cross shelters closed this week. Those who could not return home because of hurricane damage are now living in temporary accommodation. Businesses affected are also beginning to reopen.

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