Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti on the morning of October 4 and Cuba that afternoon, bringing with it heavy rains and powerful winds. The storm first made landfall on Haiti’s southwestern coast with winds of 135 miles per hour, causing flash flooding, mud slides and violent winds. Devastation followed; across Haiti, reports came in of flooding, destroyed buildings, blocked roads, roofs flying off of buildings and lost livestock.
CWS program areas are among the regions of Haiti that have been affected. The town of Ganthier, where CWS leads an ACT Alliance program to repair and rebuild houses for families displaced by the 2010 earthquake, is flooded. This includes the office of our local partner, SSID. The Northwest Department, where CWS helps support a dozen cooperatives, was not spared either. Buildings and houses have been destroyed, gardens and animals have been lost and trees are down in many places.
The ACT Alliance is mobilizing a response in Haiti through the ACT Haiti Forum. CWS will be part of this response and will likely lead a response in program areas that have been affected. Initial assessments are still underway to determine the extent of the storm’s damage and what the most effective response will be.
In Cuba, the emergency committee of the Cuban Council of Churches has been activated. The ACT Cuba forum will work with this committee to support efforts to provide supplies including food, water, water containers, roofs, mattresses and hygiene kits as well as psychosocial support to about 14,000 households in the province of Guantanamo.
How to Help
Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (please designate 76-6769: Hurricane Matthew). Donations to our emergency response efforts around the globe may also be at cwsglobal.org/HurricaneMatthew.
CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaging in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.