‘A State of Despair’ Hurricane Matthew Update from Haiti

CARE Emergency Communications Manager Holly Frew shared the following quotes from Haiti:

From Jeremie in the West:

“People in Jeremie are in a state of despair and are starting to get frustrated and worried as food resources are running low. Food is the most critical need at the moment. With the logistical challenges of getting aid in, there has been limited food distributions so far, but CARE has managed to reach 1,200 people with food assistance. We’ve also distributed clean drinking water, which is a huge need, as water sources are contaminated.”

“Many of the people are still shaken up and quite emotional. So many, including some of our staff, had their homes destroyed. There are now 30 official shelters in the area with hundreds of people in each. In the Southeast as the waters have receded, people are starting to return from their homes, but that is not the case in the west. As other areas are starting to return to normalcy, the west truly is still in a state of devastation.”

“There are conflicting reports on the death toll. The official number coming from the UN and the government is 271, but reports coming from other areas of the west, like Grand Anse indicate a higher number, unfortunately. Only four communes in the Grand Anse are currently accessible, as information from these other areas starts coming in, I’m afraid we could see a much higher death toll.”

On Cholera:

“Cases of cholera are also increasing. In Grand Anse there have been nine new cases and on the Southeast coast there have been 20 new cases. It’s critical to try and mitigate the spread of cholera, as this can spread quickly and will only contribute to the already high death toll. To try and prevent the spread of cholera, CARE is distributing hygiene kits and just shipped 500 hygiend kits to the Southeast coast.”

From Southeast:

“In the Southeast, you can see where the storm surges swept through the towns on the coast. The water has receded, but people homes are damaged and their crops are completely destroyed. One man told me he literally watched his livestock-cows, goats and pigs-get swept away by the storm surge.”

“Another widow with six children, lost all three of her plantain farms that was the entire income for her family. She feels lucky to be alive though. She said as the storm raged through on Tuesday morning, she stayed up praying as the winds raged, and the water rose and started seeping into their home.”


To arrange an interview, contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada | +1.613.790.2134