Joseph lives in Cité Soleil, Haiti, with his wife and eight children. He has been a resident of this impoverished community for 34 years, surviving a number of severe storms in the extremely low-lying area near the harbor. As Hurricane Matthew loomed, Joseph grew wary of the potential for devastation.
Six months ago, on October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew made landfall on Haiti’s Tiburon Peninsula. A Category 4 hurricane, Matthew devastated Haiti with winds of up to 150 miles per hour. This resulted in the largest humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
According to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the storm impacted about 2.1 million Haitians, and 1.4 million Haitians — nearly 13% of the population — were left in need of humanitarian assistance. Rise Against Hunger worked alongside partner organizations Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), HopeStart International and Haiti Outreach Ministries in the immediate aftermath of the storm to distribute critical aid to those affected by Hurricane Matthew.
For a family like Joseph’s, the consequences of a storm like this are devastating. Cité Soleil, along with the surrounding region, sustained serious flooding during hurricane Matthew. The storm disrupted all activities, including severely disrupting the planting season causing a significant loss in heavily relied-upon agricultural employment. Rise Against Hunger meals were critical for this population that had lost both its source of food and income.
When our partner Haiti Outreach Ministries (HOM) arrived at Joseph’s door with Rise Against Hunger meals, Joseph shared, “We had not eaten in two days and did not know when our next meal would be.” RAH and HOM provided Joseph with enough food for the family to eat for a few days, and by the end of the week, he was able to find work and resume caring for his family’s needs.
In total, our partners ADRA, HopeStart International and Haiti Outreach Ministries worked to assist 18,241 Haitians after Hurricane Matthew by distributing Rise Against Hunger meals. Rise Against Hunger partnered with ADRA and Airlink to airlift 285,120 meals on November 1, 2016, and subsequently shipped eight more containers of meals via ocean freight.
While Haiti Outreach Ministries and HopeStart International distributed meals in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, ADRA Haiti will be working for the next six months with Rise Against Hunger to deploy meals and other necessary aid to extremely vulnerable households and institutions, especially in southern Haiti. Rise Against Hunger and our partners collaborated to prioritize households most in need, as determined by their income level, disability status or proximity to the hurricane’s landfall.
As the nation continues to rebuild, food security remains a major issue across Haiti. Fritz Bissereth, County Director of ADRA Haiti, describes how even today, months after the landfall of Hurricane Matthew, many families are still displaced and living in temporary shelters. In 2017, Rise Against Hunger is committed to providing 690,975 metric tons of food assistance that will be distributed through Haitian schools, clinics and vocational training programs.
For long-term sustainability, Rise Against Hunger is working with partner organizations to scale up agricultural production by training Haitian farmers and vocational students in improved agricultural techniques that will increase yields and improve dietary diversity, and facilitating access to water by building small irrigation infrastructure.
At Rise Against Hunger, we work year round to prepare for and respond to emergencies around the globe. Rise Against Hunger responds to sudden and ongoing crises to meet immediate needs of affected populations and support the transition toward recovery by providing food or cash-based assistance, water filters and hygiene kits.
To ensure that Rise Against Hunger is able to provide critical aid in times of greatest need, please consider making a donation to our Global Emergency Relief Fund.