Within hours after Hurricane Matthew’s wind and rain subsided, World Vision staff in Haiti began distributing blankets, toiletries, and bottled water to Port-au-Prince families displaced by the storm. World Vision had pre-positioned relief supplies such as tarps, blankets, water containers, and hygiene kits to quickly assist approximately 15,000 impacted families.
Initial assessments report 80-90% of homes were damaged or destroyed in the southern peninsula, the hardest hit area. Thousands have been injured and the death toll has risen to at least 1,000, although this number is expected to increase as access is restored to remote areas. Throughout the response, a total of 50,000 households are targeted to receive emergency supplies including water & santitation, food security, child protection, health, and education.
“Agriculture is a big concern,” John said. “It’s still growing season. We’ve heard cases of several communities losing their whole banana crops. And that wasn’t in one of the hardest hit areas –it was north of Port-au-Prince.”
World Vision was helping make good progress in areas like children’s nutrition following the drought in 2015, and 2016 had been a good year for crops.
“Now we’re scared that we’re going to see decline again because of the storm,” John said.
The 80,000 inhabitants of La Gonâve island, off Haiti’s west coast, are especially vulnerable to Hurricane Matthew. World Vision assists 10,000 sponsored children and their families on La Gonâve with clean water, sanitation, hygiene, health, and nutrition.
World Vision programs in 200 rural and urban communities in Haiti serve more than 900,000 people, including 58,000 sponsored children.