The Salvation Army in Haiti Begins Food Distribution
London, 7 October 2016/IHQ/ - THE Salvation Army in Haiti is providing food and support to people who have been forced from their homes by Hurricane Matthew, the strongest storm to hit the Caribbean in a decade. The full extent of the disaster is only now becoming clear, with more than 400 people known to have lost their lives. Much of the south of the country is still unreachable because the strong winds and heavy rain have damaged and destroyed roads and bridges. The continuing path of Hurricane Matthew is also making it difficult to fly in supplies.
An initial sum of US$20,000 has been provided through International Headquarters in London to purchase rice, oil, meat, beans and other basic food items for distribution to some of the people who had to flee their homes and are now living in temporary shelters or 'safety zones'. The main location is in Croix-des-Bouquets, where 800 people - including 105 children - are being sheltered. Food is also being distributed in Port-au-Prince, Fonds-des-Negres, Aquin and Petit-Gouâve.
In Port-au-Prince, The Salvation Army's clinic has reopened and is can now offer treatment to people who were injured in the disaster.
The funds provided so far will enable The Salvation Army to give beneficiaries a hot meal every day for eight days, buying valuable time to fully assess the situation and discover the most-urgent needs. Repairs will be needed at a large number of Salvation Army schools and other buildings that have been damaged, with several losing their roofs.
Divisional Projects Officer Major John Bundu concludes his report of the current situation with thanks to Salvationists and friends around the world for 'your prayer support, concern and care for Haiti during this period of natural crisis'.
Donations to The Salvation Army's Americas and Caribbean Disaster Fund can be made via a secure online server at Click Here
The Salvation Army in Haiti Assesses Damage Caused by Hurricane Matthew
London, 5 October 2016/IHQ/ – THE Salvation Army in Haiti is assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew and putting in place plans to help some of the thousands of people who have been forced from their homes. Winds of 145 miles per hour – accompanied by heavy rain and storm surges – have brought devastation across much of the country.
Major John Eddy Bundu, Projects Officer for The Salvation Army's Haiti Division, reports that the south and south-east of Haiti have been particularly badly hit. In Fonds-des-Negres, a Salvation Army school is among several buildings to have lost their roofs. The local corps (church) was damaged by a falling tree and the area has suffered significant flooding, with the mayor asking for food support.
In Aquin, in the south, a Salvation Army school which was sheltering people whose homes were at risk also lost its roof to the wind. The people are now being evacuated to another safe place by the mayor, who has requested the Army's ongoing assistance. Bags of charcoal have been provided while more provisions are being sought.
In the coastal community of Saint-Marc, The Salvation Army is currently hosting about 100 people, and more are being cared for in La Fosse, where flooding has also forced people from their homes.
At present, only two people are known to have been killed in the disaster (although this number is likely to rise), but one of those was the uncle of divisional youth secretary Captain Jean Volant, who died when a large tree fell on his house in Petit-Goâve. Falling trees also caused damage to the officers' quarters in the town, though without causing injury.
Major Bundu says that the final situation is far from clear, with mobile and landline phone connections down across the south of the country.
As a new day begins in Haiti, the true extent of the devastation will become clearer. For now, the greatest need is for funding to provide food and drink to people in temporary shelter. Salvation Army officers and staff are ready to provide the help that is most needed, with many feeling better able to cope after attending a disaster preparedness course with input by International Emergency Services only four weeks ago. Commissioner Gerrit Marseille (Territorial Commander, Caribbean Territory) says that the response will be more efficient because of the 'good work' done on the course.
Concluding his initial report, Major Bundu writes: 'Thanks so much for your prayer support and your care for the Haitian people and all that reside in Haiti.'
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