Multiple faith-based humanitarian organizations are responding to the disaster in Haiti caused by Hurricane Matthew.
Lutheran World Relief (LWR) has focused on long-term needs of the hurricane victims, helping 16,643 people and partnering with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) to reach 10,000 people.
NCA distributed hygiene kits with water purification tablets, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste and laundry soap. LWF gave the same families shelters kits, each of which included two tarps, two blankets and rope.
LWR also shipped 7,260 quilts, 8,740 personal care kits, 6,500 school kits and 3,000 pounds of soap.
Hurricane Matthew barreled through the Caribbean as a Category 4 hurricane, the most powerful in a decade, wreaking havoc on multiple nations but leaving its strongest impact on the western hemisphere’s poorest nation, Haiti. Wind speeds on that island reached 145 miles per hour.
Damage centered on Haiti’s southwestern Tiburon Peninsula, where residents suffered from high winds, flooding and mudslides. The victims were isolated from federal relief workers after a bridge to Port-au-Prince collapsed.
The hurricane affected an estimated 2.1 million people, leaving 1.4 million in need of humanitarian aid. Of those, 750,000 Haitians required urgent humanitarian aid for the next three months while 175,000 found themselves displaced and living in 307 shelters.
Officials estimated that 806,000 Haitians were facing extreme levels of food insecurity while 1.25 million lack potable water and safe sanitation.
“What we know is that many, many houses have been damaged. Some lost rooftops and they’ll have to be replaced while others were totally destroyed,” Interior Minister Francois Anick Joseph told Fox News.
“It’s the worst hurricane that I’ve seen during my life,” Fidele Nicolas, a civil protection official in Nippes, Haiti, told the Associated Press. “It destroyed schools, roads, other structures,” he said.
Officials said the nation’s steep terrain contributed to the massive mudslides that forced citizens to evacuate their homes.
Pray for the ongoing recovery efforts in Haiti and the effectiveness of faith-based humanitarian organizations as they respond long term.
Fox News: Powerful Hurricane Matthew slams Cuba as southeastern US braces for impact
USA Today: Hurricane Matthew makes landfall in Haiti
BBC: Hurricane Matthew: Category Four storm pounds Haiti
Lutheran World Relief: The Latest on Hurricane Matthew