Over 800 people died as a direct result of the hurricane in Haiti, but most people are facing a hellish survival.
Caritas is focusing on ensuring Haitians have food, clean water and hygiene items and shelter. Clean water is in short supply and poor sanitation threatens to trigger another outbreak of cholera.
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.
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.
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.