Over 800 people died as a direct result of the hurricane in Haiti, but most people are facing a hellish survival.
Seeing the destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti’s South and Grand Anse is beyond anything that we could have imagined. The land has been washed away by the storm says Fr. Jean-Hervé Francois, director general of Caritas Haiti.
Hurricane Matthew is battering the Caribbean nation with high winds, heavy rains and storm surges. The government has declared a state of red alert. “The effect of the hurricane in the south of Haiti is catastrophic,” said Fr Jean-Hervé François, director of Caritas Haiti.
On 12 January 2010, an earthquake devastated Haiti. In less than one minute, almost half of the homes in Port-au-Prince and its surroundings were reduced to dust. An outpouring of generosity by Catholics worldwide meant that Caritas could both respond to immediate needs and rebuild for the long term.
Catholic Relief Services (a US member of the Caritas confederation) has been working in Haiti for 50 years. The morning after the 12th January 2010 earthquake, CRS staff members who had lived through the disaster themselves were aiding survivors.
During Haiti’s earthquake more than a million people lost their homes and the demand for emergency shelter was enormous. Cordaid (a Dutch member of the Caritas confederation) made it one of their long-term priorities to provide people with earthquake- and hurricane-proof housing.