With winds up to 230 kilometers per hour (142 mph) and torrential rains, Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, very hard. This storm, the strongest in the past 10 years, hit the country while it is still in the process of recuperating from the earthquake of 2010, with 110,000 people still living in temporary settlements and camps.
It is estimated that on Sunday, October 8th, the number of lives lost reached 1,000, and these numbers are still rising. Based on previous experiences with natural disasters in Haiti, we can predict a critical public health emergency and a huge increase in diseases, especially regarding cholera and respiratory illnesses that mainly affect children. According to UNICEF, more than 4 million young boys and girls could be vulnerable to the disastrous impacts of the hurricane.
All of us at America Solidaria are calling for the international community to act to help those most impacted by this disaster. Our team on the ground in Haiti is working with local organizations, and for this, we are asking for resources and donations that will directly help the most affected and vulnerable communities.
Out of the local organizations with whom we have close relationships, we are currently identifying and evaluating which of the organizations would best help us carry out our work. We have decided on the following areas of focus.
1) The prevention of disease and illness (infections, cholera and typhoid fever, among others).
2) The supply of potable water and food for those affected by the storm.