CARE Accelerates Hurricane Matthew Relief Efforts

CARE teams are on the ground in hard-hit areas scaling up the response, which includes distributing hot meals, clean water, tarps and hygiene kits.

One week after hurricane Matthew’s 230 km/h winds, heavy rain and storm surges wreaked havoc in the southern part of Haiti, CARE is scaling up its response to help Haitians survive and build back in a way that makes them more resilient to future storms.

CARE was implementing its hurricane response before Matthew struck and has accelerated its effort in the storm’s wake. CARE has delivered 12,000 hot meals thus far, mainly in the country’s southeast and remote Grand Anse region, as well as 500 hygiene kits, 2,500 plastic tarps for temporary shelter and 6,000 water purification tablets.

It is part of a larger CARE effort to reach 50,000 affected Haitians with food, clean water and other supplies. According to the UN, an estimated 2.1 million people have been affected in Haiti, with 1.4 million in need of immediate assistance.

“Access remains a challenge as big aid trucks have difficulties on roads that are littered with tree trunks and other debris,” said Jean-Michel Vigreux, CARE’s country director in Haiti. “But everyone works hand-in-hand to overcome those challenges — and that underscores the resilience and solidarity of the Haitian people. More than 60 years of work in Haiti have shown us that, with the right support, Haitians can and will build back stronger — as families, communities and a nation.”

As roads to the southwest open up, CARE will distribute other supplies such as blankets and mattresses. Water purification tablets and hygiene kits remain particularly urgent as the threat of cholera grows.

With more information coming from the affected areas, Matthew’s devastation becomes increasingly obvious: “The damage here in Les Cayes is hard to believe, even as I see it with my own eyes,” said Holly Frew, CARE’s emergency communications manager. “Matthew has uprooted massive trees and plunged them into buildings. Homes are utterly destroyed. And downed power lines litter the streets.”

CARE staff report that some markets have reopened, but they also point out the long road to recovery. Thousands of Haitians have lost their homes and belongings, finding shelter temporarily in overcrowded, communal buildings.

Beyond its plans to scale up its immediate aid, CARE is simultaneously planning its longer-term reconstruction and recovery effort to help communities get back on their feet and become self-reliant as soon as possible.

CARE’s team in Cuba is also responding to hurricane Matthew, which hit the island nation after Haiti. Together with regional authorities and local partners, CARE Cuba is planning to provide household hygiene kits, shelter kits and reconstruction material for 20,000 affected people in Guantanamo and Holguin provinces.

Overall, CARE’s hurricane Matthew response in Haiti and Cuba will require US$16 million over two years. Canadians can donate to support relief efforts here.


To arrange an interview with CARE spokespeople in Haiti or Cuba, contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada | +1.613.790.2134

To donate or learn more about CARE’s response, click here.