Haiti, 6 Months After Hurricane Matthew

Photo by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for CRS

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Hurricane Matthew, the Category 4 storm that hit Haiti on October 4, 2016, destroyed homes, infrastructure, farmland and businesses. The hurricane affected 2.1 million people across the country, and more than half needed humanitarian assistance. Of those, 750,000 had urgent needs.

CRS has strong relationships with Church and government authorities, so we could respond quickly—reaching 10,000 people with distributions in the first 3 weeks. As more emergency supplies became available, we increased our reach and, within the first 3 months, assisted more than 200,000 people.

We are dedicated to working closely with communities as they rebuild and recover. We engage local vendors to supply small farmers with seeds and tools, and support training to help families, tradespeople, and engineers to build safer homes.

 

Recovering Farm Communities

 

 

 

Rebuilding Lives

All photos by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for CRS

 

Haiti hurricane Matthew debris

This was the scene 3 months ago, after Hurricane Matthew passed over the southwestern peninsula, destroying homes, businesses and up to 90% of crops in some parts of the South and Grand’Anse.

 

emergency aid for Haiti hurricane matthew survivors

Within days CRS delivered food, water, and cooking and cleaning supplies to communities, as even the fruit from so many downed trees was almost gone.  

 

Haiti after hurricane matthew

With the emergency phase behind them, communities are now trying to rebuild or repair their homes and revive their farms so they can put food on the table and send their children to school.

 

Haiti cacao farmer survives hurricane matthew

Gesner Laguerre has been growing cacao, the main ingredient in chocolate, for longer than he can remember. It allowed him to put his four sons, now grown, through school. But the hurricane destroyed most of his crops. CRS is helping him clear his fields.

 

Haiti hurricane matthew survivor

“Walking around and not being able to do anything is overwhelming because the things we rely on to live aren’t there. No selling, no income for the family,” he says.   

 

Relief after Haiti hurricane matthew

Hurricane Matthew wiped away crops and destroyed seeds for planting, creating food shortages with potential long-term effects. With no time to lose before the spring harvest, CRS has been distributing seeds and tools to help thousands of families replant.

 

vouchers help Haitians recover from hurricane matthew

Farmers receive vouchers to buy seeds and tools from local merchants. This helps breathe new life into the economy.

 

Haiti hurricane matthew survivor

Zenada Levasseur and others received vouchers from CRS. She used hers to buy bean and corn seeds. “The vouchers are a great help. Our limited funds—with so many expenses for our family—can only take us so far, but with the vouchers we can keep our farm going,” she says.

 

Haiti hurricane matthew survivors

Some 200 community members are earning money through a cash-for-work project repairing an irrigation system damaged by flooding and clogged by debris from the storm. 

 

Haiti hurricane matthew survivors

To help people make ends meet from now until the June harvest, a period known as the “lean season,” CRS is providing cash to more than 30,000 families.

 

cash for hurricane matthew survivors

The $60 they receive allows them to buy what they need most—from food to school uniforms to medicine.

 

Haiti hurricane matthew survivor

“I will buy food for my children because they are hungry,” says Austin Joseph. The father of 12 grows yams and manioc and raises livestock to feed his family. Most of it was lost in the storm.  


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