Today marks one year since Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic, and left behind a trail of destruction that claimed more than 500 lives and displaced over 175,000 people. Haiti’s southern peninsula bore the brunt of the hurricane’s fury, where powerful winds and heavy floods destroyed millions of homes, ravaged large swathes of farmlands and decimated precious livestock.
The catastrophic destruction and profound trauma of this disaster have left their indelible mark on Haiti’s people, who have lived through one disaster after another. Although it will take years for the country to recover, AJWS is staying the course to support a constellation of grassroots organizations that are helping Haitians get back on their feet, and to invest in efforts to create lasting change.
Here are just some examples of the ongoing efforts on the ground:
- Our grantee Groupe d’Appui aux Rapatries et aux Refugies (GARR) worked around the clock to distribute water-cleaning kits and food supplies to hundreds of families in need, and spread awareness over the radio about halting the spread of water-borne diseases, reaching thousands of people.
- In the hard-hit coastal south, Gwoup Apui pou Devlopman Depatman Sid (GADES) is ensuring the needs of the most vulnerable—including women and LGBT people—are not overlooked in the aftermath of the hurricane. In addition to providing relief material, GADES has helped more than 150 trauma-stricken survivors access counseling, and it has raised awareness in communities to curb violence against women, which often skyrockets in times of crisis.
- Tèt Kole is ensuring the rural poor are not forgotten. With AJWS’s support, Tèt Kole is providing small loans and seeds to small farmers so they can replant lost crops to feed their families and communities and earn a livelihood.
- In addition to beaming warnings to thousands of Haitians during the hurricane, which helped spare further death, Radyo VKM continues to broadcast information so communities in need know where to get assistance. Despite threats, the station’s brave journalists are keeping watch over local relief efforts to ensure aid is not diverted away from those who need it.
Click here to learn more about AJWS’s disaster response work.
Explore these photos of destruction and rebuilding efforts in Haiti last November, just weeks after Hurricane Matthew touched down.