WORLDPOST

Desperation Grips Haiti As It Struggles To Rebuild Yet Again

The impoverished nation was still recovering from a massive earthquake when Hurricane Matthew hit.

19/10/2016 7:42 AM AEDT | Updated 20/10/2016 8:45 AM AEDT
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Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters
Haitians fight over a sack of rice distributed by humanitarian aid workers after Hurricane Matthew ripped through the tiny nation.

For the second time in under a decade, Haiti is reeling from a catastrophic natural disaster that has caused mass fatalities and ravaged much of its already-vulnerable infrastructure.

A devastating magnitude 7 earthquake rattled the impoverished island nation in 2010, triggering dozens of aftershocks and killing as many as 316,000 people. Some 300,000 more were injured and approximately 1.5 million residents were internally displaced.

Haiti’s recovery from the quake has been a slow and painstaking process, plagued by the worst Cholera outbreak in recent history. Tens of thousands of Haitians were still homeless or living in dilapidated shelters years later when disaster struck again.

Hurricane Matthew ripped through the country’s southwest with wind speeds reaching 145 mph in early October. The storm left a deadly trail of “complete destruction,” Haitian Interior Minister François Anick Joseph said days after it hit. Experts fear the latest disaster could worsen the ongoing cholera epidemic.

Watch a 360° video below from RYOT of the hurricane aftermath in Haiti:

The hurricane caused severe damage to crops and destroyed boats used for fishing in some of the worst-affected areas, leaving many people unable to support themselves with “nothing left to survive on,” according to Marc Soniel Noel, the deputy mayor of Chantal in southern Haiti.

The United Nations announced that a “massive response” to the crisis is required with at least 1.4 million Haitians currently in need of help, but multiple humanitarian groups have said that badly damaged infrastructure and blocked roads have made it difficult to reach survivors. Agencies like the World Food Programme and American Red Cross are working to distribute food and medical supplies, as doctors remain largely inaccessible.

“Many people I have met are surviving by eating fruit from fallen trees,” said Carlos Veloso, a WFP representative in Haiti. “We are using trucks and helicopters to transport [food supplies] as quickly as possible to save lives.”

To learn how you can help, click here. To support American Red Cross’s efforts with Hurricane Matthew, please donate via the CrowdRise widget below:

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Heartbreaking photos show resilient Haitians working to rebuild their fragile communities after yet another crisis: 

                                                                     

  • HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images
    A man starts repairs on his home on Oct. 7, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    A girl bathes out of a bucket of water next to destroyed houses in Jeremie, Haiti, on Oct. 16, 2016.
  • Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters
    Haitians ask for food in Saint Jean du Sud, Haiti, on Oct. 16, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    People fight while they assail a truck to try to get food on Oct. 14, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    A crowd waits for the relief aid to be unloaded from a Dutch navy ship on Oct. 16, 2016.
  • Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters
    A pastor leads a prayer in a damaged church on Oct. 16, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    People reach for supplies from a truck on Oct. 14, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    People gather food and aid supplies on Oct. 14, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    Haitians try to rebuild their destroyed houses on Oct. 16, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    A girl holds her meal on Oct. 16, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    People fight for food on Oct. 14, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    A police officer stands guard in front of the people waiting for the relief aid to be unloaded from a Dutch navy ship on Oct. 16, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    People scramble into a truck with food supplies on Oct. 14, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    People fight over food on Oct. 14, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    A man stands in front of his destroyed house on Oct. 15, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    Men sit next to the fire in front of destroyed buildings on Oct. 16, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    A woman feeds a small girl on Oct. 15, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    People sort through the wreckage of their destroyed house on Oct. 16, 2016.
  • Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters
    A crowd asks for food on Oct. 16, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    A child stands next to a damaged boat on Oct. 15, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    A girl eats at her destroyed house on Oct. 15, 2016.
  • Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
    A man collects rain water in a plastic container on the street on Oct. 16, 2016.
  • NICOLAS GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images
    Homes destroyed and damaged by Hurricane Matthew are seen in Jeremie on Oct. 7, 2016
  • HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images
    A woman sits in her home as she prepares tea on Oct. 7, 2016.
  • HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images
    Residents clean debris on Oct. 8, 2016.
  • HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images
    Haitians look for food on Oct. 8, 2016.
  • HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images
    A boy plays with a broken guitar while sitting in rubble on Oct. 8, 2016. 
  • Dieu Nalio Chery/ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A woman and a child sit on a buckets amid the ruins of their home destroyed on Oct. 10, 2016.
  • Rebecca Blackwell/ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Boys whose homes were destroyed by the storm carry a hose from a water tanker truck on Oct. 17, 2016.
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