FOND-DES-BLANCS, HAITI (October 20, 2016) – Following the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Matthew earlier this month, Haitians are showing tremendous resilience but they will need extensive financial assistance in both the near future and the long-term, said Dave Husby, executive director of Covenant World Relief (CWR).
CWR is asking Covenanters to contribute to a special fund that will help in the immediate aftermath as well as with long-term development in Haiti.
“There are no gardens left, signaling hunger for months, if not years, to come,” says Jean Thomas, founder of the Haiti Christian Development Fund (HCDF), one of CWR’s longtime partners. “Our entire crop at the farm is gone. The loss in terms of livestock is also painful.”
For most farmers, it is too late to prepare their lands for a new crop. They are now focusing on their remaining livestock, especially goats and pigs.
Still, when Thomas’s wife, Joy, made her weekly trip to market, she was pleased to discover vendors had not hiked their prices, despite the uncertainty of product availability. “Everyone was happy for everyone else who could give good news of survival,” she reported.
The Category 4 hurricane was the strongest storm to slam the country since 1964 and killed more than 1,000 people. While the HCDF community in Fond-des-Blancs was not in the direct path of the storm, it suffered massive damage.
Several schools, including the L’Exode schools supported by HCDF, suffered severe damage to their buildings. There are no finances available to make the necessary repairs, Jean Thomas said. Despite the setbacks, the L’Exode schools plan to use donated funds to offer tuition scholarships to students whose families were hardest hit.
Husby said he saw the same resilience following the 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of Haiti. Now once again, Haiti must rebuild, and CWR is committed working with trusted partners such as HCDF and World Relief.
Desperately needed gifts for food, housing, and education can be directed to Covenant World Relief Haiti Response.