Malteser International Americas Providing Urgent Aid to Devastated Areas of Haiti
Hundreds of thousands living in appalling conditions that threaten to cause an epidemic further devastating survivors
MIAMI, Oct. 10, 2016 /Christian Newswire
/ -- – Malteser International Americas, a Miami-based global humanitarian relief agency, today announced further relief measures for children and families in Haiti who are suffering from the devastating flooding of Hurricane Matthew.
Hurricane Matthew unleashed devastation on Haiti early last Tuesday, costing more than 1,000 people their lives according to local officials, and leaving more than half a million people in desperate need of aid in the slums of the capital Port-au-Prince.
Malteser International Americas emergency staff and community partners have been on-the-ground since before the hurricane, positioned to work immediately with survivors. Staff are working in communities providing tools and equipment to re-open streets and stabilize the overflow of waste from drainage channels. The flooded channels have forced human waste into the streets and makeshift living quarters.
The agency is also beginning the distribution of critical hygiene kits and the implementation of a community-wide health campaign for people in the severely affected areas of Cité Soleil and Tabarre.
"Hurricane Matthew was one of the most devastating storms to strike Haiti in decades. Homes, lives, and livelihoods have been washed away leaving hundreds of thousands of people in urgent need of aid – living in inhumane conditions that threaten to cause an epidemic, like cholera," said Ravi Tripptrap, Executive Director, Malteser International Americas. "We've been in Haiti for 6.5 years and have become a trusted resource in the communities, and we are positioned to immediately help the survivors who need us the most. They need our help now."
As is most often the case, the Haitians who were already amongst the most vulnerable community members before the Hurricane, are now suffering the most -- especially small children, single-headed households, and the elderly. Many survivors lost their homes and the few belongings they had.
"The storm caused extremely widespread flooding," said Kathrin Jewert, Malteser International Program Coordinator in Haiti. "Many people here were still living in very basic huts following the earthquake that utterly devastated Haiti in 2010. In many cases these were simply washed away."
In the south-eastern region of Belle-Anse, one of the poorest areas in the country where we have been teaching Haitians sustainable farming, was virtually cut off because of the damage from the hurricane. The region was in the process of recovering from years of severe drought. More than eighty percent of the crops in this region were destroyed.
Malteser has been working in Haiti since the devastating earthquake of 2010. Initial emergency relief efforts were followed by long-term work to strengthen civil society actors, make sustainable improvements to water, sanitation, and hygiene structures; as well as to raise disaster preparedness, and improve the standard of nutrition amongst the population. The agency's projects are located in the slum areas of Cité Soleil and Tabarre, as well as the rural region of Belle-Anse, and are carried out in close cooperation with local partner organizations.
Malteser International Americas is urgently calling for donations to aid critical relief and rehabilitation measures, and to help rebuild lives in the wake of Hurricane Matthew: https://orderofmaltarelief.org/donation
Note to Editors: Jacques Larroude, Malteser International Americas Emergency Coordinator and Malteser International Americas Program Coordinator in Haiti are both available for interviews.
Malteser International Americas is a global humanitarian organization with a mission of supporting the vulnerable and marginalized so that they may live a healthy life with dignity. Through our U.S. headquarters, Malteser International Americas provides immediate disaster response and preparedness as well as vital healthcare and nutrition to vulnerable people in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.