Posted by Rebecca Hobble
Hurricane Matthew has killed over 1,000 people in Haiti and left 1.4 million more in need of humanitarian assistance. As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is still struggling to rebuild after the 2010 earthquake, making the damage especially devastating. Here’s how donors can help.
1) Support immediate relief efforts
Immediate needs on the ground include food, water, sanitation, and shelter. Access to clean water and sanitation is especially crucial for minimizing the spread of devastating waterborne diseases like cholera. Organizations with longstanding ties in Haiti that are addressing immediate needs include the following:
- Americares is coordinating with both international and local partners to deliver medical supplies to affected communities.
- Catholic Relief Services is distributing blankets, kitchen and hygiene kits, and other emergency supplies, as well as monitoring for outbreaks of cholera and other diseases.
- Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) is providing first aid to wounded hurricane survivors, treating cases of cholera, and assessing the status of health facilities and needs of the affected areas.
- Save the Children is delivering supplies such as food and hygiene kits, working to prevent cholera outbreak, and assessing needs to repair schools and restore education for vulnerable children.
- St. Boniface Haiti Foundation has a thirty-year history in Haiti, and is the only operational hospital or clinic in the south, the hardest-hit area.
- World Food Program USA has delivered over 100 tons of food and is helping transport humanitarian workers and relief supplies to affected areas.
2) Consider allocating money for long-term needs
Here are some organizations that are well equipped to address the long-term needs of the region:
- Partners in Health (PIH) supports 12 health centers in Haiti’s central region, which was not hit as badly as the southwest. However, PIH staff are travelling to the southwest to determine how best to provide assistance, and prepping their 10 cholera treatment centers in anticipation of a rise in cases.
- Hopital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) has continued to operate after the hurricane and has staff and supplies in place to treat injuries as well as cholera. Though their main facility is in central Haiti, two community health centers have been closed due to dangerous mountain road conditions. Staff is prepping for an anticipated rise in injuries and cholera cases.
- Fonkoze, Haiti’s largest microfinance institution, has assessed the impact on their staff and is reopening branches in affected areas, as well as assessing the hurricane’s impact on clients.
- Haiti Development Institute is keeping track of long-term needs that will emerge once humanitarian and emergency response groups leave Haiti. As an intermediary with grantmaking experience in southern Haiti, HDI plans to launch a fundraising effort to help meet those needs.
For the latest insights on how donors can help after Hurricane Matthew, in both Haiti and the U.S., see the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. For more on how donors can help in Haiti, see our profile of Fonkoze and our 2010 Haiti giving guide. Or click here to read more about high-impact disaster relief.
Note: We have removed Oxfam International from this list pending investigations into allegations of staff misconduct and misuse of funds in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.