Haiti struggling to recover after devastating hurricane

The Republic of Haiti is facing a major humanitarian crisis following the destruction created by Hurricane Matthew.

It has been over a month since Hurricane Matthew ripped through the impoverished Caribbean country; creating disaster and destruction. The storm has only worsened pre-existing conditions in the country since the terrible earthquake in 2010. Haiti’s president, Jocelerme Privert, is appealing once more for help from the international community.

Haiti’s recovery relies on the quality of international assistance. Privert, urges that international governments must do more to support Haiti during these difficult times. The provisional president said he didn’t ‘want to see Haitians die’ due to the ‘unavailability of international assistance’. With 1.5 million Haitians in need of urgent help ‘deep sympathy’ is simply not enough.

Neighbouring nations and developed countries must act to aid Haiti’s journey to recovery. So far, an aid campaign has been launched and international plans to help the nation are underway. The hurricane – the strongest to hit the Caribbean in a decade – claimed the lives of over 800 Haitians. Many more lives are at risk as floods, mudslides, disease and ruin are widespread.

Posing danger to the survival of many, malnutrition levels have increased as a major food crisis is faced. Crops have been destroyed and help is needed to re-plant crops and ‘re-launch agriculture’. If supply of food and crops does not increase the consequences may be devastating – resulting in deaths.

The damage created by the storm last month was equal to the countries entire budget. Total damage exceeds a billion dollars, setting Haiti’s recovery back even further. The UN have appealed for $120 million dollars [£95.7million] to be raised. Thus far, the UK has donated £8m of a proposed £10m.

Hopefully, donations will not be mismanaged as they were in the case of the 2010 earthquake. Currently, around 140,000 Haitians are displaced and living in temporary shelters. In 2010 the Red Cross pledged to rebuild homes. Despite raising half a billion dollars to re-build neighbourhoods, only 6 were built.

Haiti will continue to feel the effects of its natural disasters. The low scale earthquake experienced on 12 November 2016 only exemplifies such a prediction.

TNT Global Issues

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

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