Hurricane Matthew took a toll on Haiti and surrounding areas three weeks ago, with some estimates putting the death toll around 900 lives. Winds of 125 miles per hour destroyed entire forests on the mountains of the northern coast of Haiti’s Tiburon peninsula. CNN reports that the storm flooded villages, razed crops, swept away cattle, destroyed Haiti’s natural resources, and knocked out electricity, cutting off parts of the island.
The death toll of Hurricane Matthew has been difficult to accurately estimate, but it remains catastrophic by all accounts. Relief workers are struggling to reach areas the storm hit hardest, where power is still out and food and water remain scarce.
People all over the world are attempting to raise awareness to the problem and figure out a solution. The United States has deployed the USS George Washington carrier, the USNS Comfort (a hospital ship), and the amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde (supported by Navy and Marine aviation) to provide relief to the ravaged country.
Care packages containing a bucket, laundry soap, and women’s sanitary napkins were assembled to help as part of a health-centered aid shipment. They were delivered to a rural mountain community, at a warehouse on the outskirts of Les Cayes.
The U.S. has been sending military troops to Haiti and has been asking for ideas concerning reconstruction and rescuing those still under the threat of the storm. CNN states that in Georgia, Haitian-Americans have set up a phone hotline for people interested in donating to relief efforts in Haiti.
“We believe our efforts in Haiti have made important investments in Haitian people, institutions, systems and lasting infrastructure including the employment of numerous Haitians in disaster management leadership positions in our projects and in the Haitian Red Cross,” Red Cross agents stated.
Many relief programs are run throughout the U.S., such as UNICEF and Red Cross, while GoFundMe and other fundraising sites have programs set up to fund relief. There are many ways Americans can help those who are suffering and assist in caring for the less fortunate. Haiti has experienced much tragedy and loss, but when tragedy strikes, members of our country should put aside our differences and come together to help alleviate the suffering of others.