Haiti mourns as the effects of Hurricane Matthew continue to unfold

Haiti mourns as the effects of Hurricane Matthew continue to unfold

One of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the Caribbean in a decade struck south-west Haiti on Tuesday 4 October. The category four storm has triggered the worst humanitarian crisis in the country since the 2010 earthquake.


An estimated 1.4 million are in need of help and nearly 300,000 have taken refuge in shelters across the nation. High winds of 145 mph, widespread floods and landslides brought devastating damage, leaving thousands of people displaced and claiming up to 1,000 lives. The death toll expected to rise as rescue workers access remote areas.

Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Americas and its poor infrastructure and living conditions means its inhabitants are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. In the aftermath of the hurricane, Haitians are now facing growing fears of a cholera outbreak, a water-borne bacterial disease spread by contaminated food and water. Children are especially vulnerable to cholera, which causes severe dehydration and can be fatal in a matter of hours if left untreated.

Compassion Haiti’s emergency team continues to distribute supplies, including food, water and hygiene kits to beneficiaries and their families and projects which have been significantly impacted, including the projects serving as temporary shelters. The team’s priority continues to be assessing the damage and simultaneously addressing the issue of short-term food security. Compassion projects across Haiti are being supported and restored to accommodate displaced or homeless families.

Eduoard Lassegue, Compassion’s Vice President of the Latin America and Caribbean region, explains, “Right now we are going from home to home and church to church to assess the damage. We are providing emergency relief such as food, water, temporary shelter and medicine. We want to get our child development programmes fully operating as quickly as possible so that we can restore hope and normalcy into our children’s lives.”

“We have mobilised our disaster committees in the field to send alerts to us, to monitor the situation and to educate and relocate families who are at major risk,” explains Compassion Haiti Country Director, Guilbaud Saint-Cy.

Compassion UK has sent £200,000 to the Haiti field office to help meet immediate needs including food, water and shelter. It is estimated that around £8 million worth of damage has been caused to Compassion projects and homes across the region. Compassion has launched a fundraising appeal which has raised £30,000 at the time of writing.

Compassion UK will contact you directly if your sponsored child has been affected.
Please continue to pray for God’s peace and comfort to rest on all those who have been impacted by the hurricane.

Current reports show that 73 Compassion centres in Haiti are temporarily closed, including 66 centres that suffered significant damage or were destroyed. Assessments also show that 3,129 Compassion-assisted children or their homes have been impacted or injured and tragically it has been confirmed three children and four caregivers have died. Of those impacted, 1,206 children have been temporarily or permanently moved to another location.

For more information contact Ella Dickinson or call 07840 203332.

Becca Stanley

Words by Becca Stanley


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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.