On October 4th, my colleagues and I anxiously followed the news as Hurricane Matthew tore through Haiti. Though all of us were hoping and praying the damage would be minimal, the storm was deadly.
In the days before the hurricane, our staff in Haiti had amassed emergency supplies in case of the worst. They were able to dive in and help as the winds and rains died down, assessing damage and providing immediate aid.
But as news emerged from the area, we realized that the people of Haiti would be struggling to recover from this storm for a long time to come.
These photos tell a story of great tragedy, community cooperation, and the strength of Haiti's people to get up and begin rebuilding.
"In some parts of Haiti you have 90 per cent of homes destroyed, plus people losing all of their crops," said John Hasse, director of World Vision Haiti of the long road ahead. "For them...it's what happens next week, what happens next month?"
The question of food
As World Food Day approaches, it's hard not to think about the food many of us take for granted here in Canada. In Haiti, World Vision is committed to distributing food aid to 15,000 families in the next two months. But, with so many crops destroyed, the effect of the hurricane will reach far beyond that.
When you add in the damage to roads, schools and clinics, combined with the risk of waterborne diseases like cholera that are increasing due to flooding, the people of Haiti are in desperate need.
But they are also resilient. These photos tell a story of great tragedy, community cooperation, and the strength of Haiti's people to get up and begin rebuilding.
Homes have been decimated along the coast of Haiti in the community of Dupuy.
Roads were literally washed away in the floods.
Crops and fishing boats have been destroyed, stealing peoples' livelihoods.
The winds were so strong that this roof was blown right into the road.
This tree crashed right through the roof and walls of this home in Saint Louis du Sud.
People who were self-sufficient now have to rely on emergency aid.
Our World Vision staff are providing things like blankets, tarpaulins, clean water, and hygiene kits to families.
You can help provide emergency essentials like clean water, blankets, hygiene kits and more.
Family members carry home life-saving supplies to their loved ones.
This church building was completely destroyed. Yves, a church member, tries to salvage some of the materials so they can rebuild.
Gisèle, a mother of three, cleans her home from debris and mud. Haitians have been forced to start their lives again in the aftermath of the storm.
Haitians are ready to rebuild their country in the wake of this storm, but without the resources to do so, the next months and years could be desperate. You can help provide emergency essentials like clean water, blankets, hygiene kits and more.
Despite the horror of an emergency like this, I am grateful that World Vision will be there in Haiti, as we have been for 38 years, to help farmers replant, families rebuild their lives, and children get back to learning.
All photos by World Vision.
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