Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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Discuss Haiti Cholera and Hurricane Response with Massachusetts Senators [EVENT]

October 13, 2016 - 06:17

Senator Ed Markey just returned from a trip to Haiti to observe the hurricane response, and now he wants to hear from all of us. This Friday, State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry will host a panel at the State House on cholera and the response to Hurricane Matthew. This is also an opportunity to urge Senator Markey to do more for Haiti.

Eyes on Haiti: A conversation about cholera and disaster response

When: 1-2:30pm on Friday, October 14

Where: Massachusetts State House room 428

Who: Senator Ed Markey, Massachusetts

Brian Concannon, IJDH Executive Director

Whether or not you can attend, please share this post or the Boston Haitian Reporter notice with anyone you know who cares about Haiti.

Sen. Ed Markey Visits Haiti to Deliver Humanitarian Relief

October 12, 2016 - 13:41

U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) visited Haiti earlier this week to assess the current situation following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew and help provide aid to the Haitian people.  He also has written to Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the UN, asking for accountability and assistance in the cholera outbreak.

Senator Markey Visits Haiti to Assess Humanitarian Response After Hurricane Matthew

Senator Ed Markey

October 12, 2016

Washington (October 12, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy of the Foreign Relations Committee, traveled this week to Haiti to observe the humanitarian response to Hurricane Matthew and assess any public health conditions, including the possible aggravation of Haiti’s cholera epidemic. The cholera epidemic started in Haiti in 2010 after United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Forces introduced cholera when deployed there for earthquake relief. More than 779,212 cholera cases and 9,145 deaths are a direct result of the UN’s presence in Haiti.

This week in Haiti, Senator Markey met with patients, doctors and other health providers at a cholera treatment center in Port-au-Prince and helped deliver aid to Dame Marie, a severely hit community at the edge of the Western Claw in Haiti. Senator Markey delivered humanitarian relief with Joint Task Force Commander Rear Admiral Cedric Pringle and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) officials. Senator Markey also met with Haiti Prime Minister Enex J. Jean-Charles and Minister of Public Health Daphnée Benoit Delsoin, as well as Provisional President Jocelerme Privert.

(PHOTO CAPTION, from left to right: Senator Markey, Haiti Prime Minister Enex J. Jean-Charles and Minister of Public Health Daphnée Benoit Delsoin; Senator Markey at cholera treatment center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 10, 2016)


“I have grave concerns that the cholera epidemic that has ravaged Haiti will only be made catastrophic in the wake of Hurricane Matthew,” said Senator Markey. “We need to immediately accelerate relief to isolated areas of Haiti, including provision of basic food, clean drinking water and medicine. But we must also mobilize to stop the spread of cholera and address any new public health threats that emerge. This includes long-term development of infrastructure to provide safe drinking water, safely manage and dispose of wastewater through effective public sanitation systems, and ensure adequate electrical energy to make such systems feasible. We must help Haiti rebuild and get communities back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

Yesterday, Senator Markey led a letter to Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, seeking clarification about the official position of the United States in relation to the cholera epidemic in Haiti, calling on the UN to accept full responsibility for the cholera outbreak and begin the process of resolving claims for victims. Other Senators signing the letter include Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).


“The recent devastation of Hurricane Matthew has only amplified Haiti’s humanitarian crisis and provided a situation that is likely to intensify the impacts of cholera in the country,” write the Senators in the letter. “It is imperative, now more than ever, to develop a focused effort on eradicating disease transmission, and provide an expeditious path to material and financial assistance for cholera victims and their families.”


A copy of the letter to the Senators’ letter to the UN can be found HERE.


Earlier this year, Senator Markey called on the United Nations to publicly apologize for their role in the epidemic andprovide material resources to end the threat of cholera in Haiti and deliver financial assistance to victims and their families that were affected by the epidemic.

Click HERE for the original article.

CoEH Calls on International Community After Matthew

October 12, 2016 - 13:22

Coordination Europe-Haiti writes in support of Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew’s destruction and calls for international action to assist in reconstruction.

CoEH expresses its profound solidarity with the Haitian people

Evert-Jan Brouwer, Coordination Europe-Haiti

October 12, 2016

Early October, Haiti has been hit very hard by hurricane Matthew. The Coordination Europe-Haiti expresses its profound solidarity with the families of the victims. Thousands of people have lost their houses and means of living. There is considerable loss of harvests. Long-term consequences for agriculture and food security are still to be assessed. Infrastructure has been severely damaged, as well as public services in the affected areas. The inundations enhance the risk of a new cholera epidemic. To this socio-economic consequences we must add the probability of increased political instability, which already characterises the country for more than a year. The elections which were planned for 9 October, have again been postponed indefinitely.

The Coordination Europe-Haiti appeals to the international community to act with solidarity, generosity and discernment. It is necessary to draw lessons from humanitarian and development aid in the post-earthquake reconstruction process in Haiti.

The Coordination Europe-Haiti invites to respect the following principles :

–       The assessment of the current situation and the formulation of urgent needs, as well subsequent projects and programmes, should be led by Haitians themselves

–       A triple approach is needed for programmes and projects :

• Structural : in all emergency programmes a long-term development perspective must be taken into account from the start

• Rights-based : in order to strengthen government institutions, since they are the primary structures which bear the primary responsibility for the wellbeing of the Haitian population

• Focused on strengthening local civil society, which is most close to the affected communities and can act in direct solidarity

–       Not charity, but the principle of solidarity should guide international support

–       In order to be coherent, the international support should benefit to the maximum extent possible from human and material resources which are present in Haiti. For example, instead of importing food items from abroad, priority should be given to products that are available at the local market.

–       Real transparency, both towards Haiti and towards supporters abroad, is needed in the programmes and projects which are managed by international organisations in response to the disaster.

Our platform strongly appreciates the initiatives that have been taken by its members and by other actors in solidarity with Haiti. In its contacts with the European Union, an important actor in Haiti, the Coordination Europe-Haiti will insist on the principles formulated above.

On behalf of the Coordination Europe-Haiti,

Evert-Jan Brouwer, coordinator

Church World Service Demands TPS, No Deportation for Haitians

October 12, 2016 - 12:46

Last month, Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the US Department of Homeland Security would resume non-criminal deportations to Haiti. After Hurricane Matthew, Haiti is devastated and at increased risk of cholera outbreaks, as it is a waterborne disease. Now is not a time for deportations, but increasing Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, as was done in after the 2010 earthquake. Church World Service’s action alert below demands just that.


October 12, 2016

Dear Friend,

Last weekend, Hurricane Matthew decimated Haiti, a country that was already struggling to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake. In the wake of the earthquake, the U.S. government promised to help displaced Haitians and support the country’s recovery. The U.S. government designated Haitians who were already in the United States in 2011 for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Still, 65,000 Haitians have been displaced in their own country, while thousands more have sought refuge in Central and South America, as well as the United States. Though the full impact of Hurricane Matthew is not yet known, 350,000 Haitian men, women, and children are in need of assistance, and the cholera outbreak in Haiti – already the worst epidemic that the world has seen – is worsening.

Despite the U.S. commitment to protect Haitians, Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would fast-track the detention and deportation of Haitians in the United States. Although DHS is temporarily halting deportations in Hurricane Matthew’s immediate aftermath, resuming a deportation policy flies in the face of our American values to welcome and protect those seeking safety. While individuals who have TPS will continue to be protected, there is a clear need to expand TPS to Haitians who arrived in the United States between 2011 and today, and to ensure that Haitians are not detained and deported. A detention and deportation policy means turning our backs on the Haitians we pledged to welcome, separating families, and disregarding the significant damage to Haitian communities caused by multiple horrendous disasters.

Make your voice heard and tell Secretary Johnson to immediately stop detaining and start protecting Haitians, including by re-designating TPS for Haitians.

As people of faith, we are called to welcome the stranger, stand with the vulnerable, and love our neighbor. Right now, we have a moral and legal obligation to Haitians seeking safety, work, and a better future for their families.

Take action today to call on Secretary Johnson to keep families together and reverse its detention and deportation policy for Haitians.

Thank you for all your work and support!

In solidarity,
Jen Smyers
Director of Policy and Advocacy
Immigration and Refugee Program
Church World Service


“Do black lives matter to Obama?” Activists protest deportations

October 12, 2016 - 12:34

Activists in Little Haiti protest U.S. deportation policy of Haitians. They call the deportation policy “fickle,” because it breaks up families, with some freed and some locked up in detention camps awaiting deportation back to hurricane-torn Haiti, where cases of cholera are on the rise. Activists called on President Obama, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to take action.

Steve Forrester of IJDH said, “They announced they were going to start deporting again, saying conditions had improved. Everybody knows that’s not true; it’s just not true. But Matthew makes it really obscene.”

Activists Call Haitian Deportation Policy “Abomination”

by Gary Nelson, CBS Miami

October 10th, 2016

MIAMI – Speaking in Creole, Marie Carole Jeune sobbed as she spoke to a bank of reporters and television news cameras Monday at a Little Haiti community center.

She explained through her tears that her 20-year-old son is in an immigration detention camp in California, her home in Haiti was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew and her relatives there are all homeless and hungry.

At the news conference attended by a host of human rights organizations and immigrant activists there was a call for humanitarian aid, but a call too for the U.S. to reverse last month’s decision to resume deporting Haitian migrants.

“They announced they were going to start deporting again, saying conditions had improved,” said Steve Forester of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.  “Everybody knows that’s not true, it’s just not true. But Matthew makes it really obscene,” said Forester, also noting an on-going cholera epidemic plaguing Haiti.

With the death toll from the hurricane over a thousand now, it promises to get worse.

“There are still some roads that are impassable.  There are still some people who have not been reached,” said Marleine Bastien of the group Haitian Women of Miami.

The new immigration policy appeared fickle at Monday’s news conference. Norde Ludie and her 7-month-old daughter, Ralphaela were there, having been released from detention, but her husband remains locked up, facing deportation.

While the Catholic Church has been busy collecting relief supplies for Haiti, the church also weighed in on immigration.

“Now is the time to stand in solidarity with Haiti. It is not the time to deport people,” said Randy McGrorty, a representative from the Archdiocese of Miami.

The activists noted refugees from Hurricane Mitch in Central America still are protected from deportation, and Mitch was more than 14 years ago.

Former State Representative Phillip Brutus called that disparity “an abomination.”

The president and one who could be president were called out at the news conference.

“Do black lives matter to Obama? Do black lives matter to Hillary Clinton,” asked Ruth Jeannoel of the Power U Center for Social Change.

And the activists called the idea of sending anyone back to Haiti absurd.

“I don’t understand why we can’t get this right when it’s so simple.  It’s about life, it’s about family, it’s about kids,” said Leroy Jones of the Circle of Brotherhood.

Marie Carole Juene, still sobbing, pleaded with President Obama to help both her son and others facing possible deportation and those suffering in Haiti.

The Obama administration thus far has shown no indication it plans to change its Haitian deportation policy.


Click HERE for the original article and video.

Hurricane Relief Efforts Risk Repeating Old Mistakes

October 12, 2016 - 09:59

Although Haitians were much better-prepared to handle Hurricane Matthew than they were for the 2010 earthquake, the media often portrays Haitians as helpless and in need of charity. The other mistake that the media has been making is attributing the cholera epidemic to the earthquake and not United Nations peacekeepers, giving the UN another opportunity to shirk its responsibilities to the victims. Both of these errors are important because they risk increasing the lack of accountability to Haitians. If Haitians are helpless, international aid organizations won’t need to work with local groups to best respond to the disaster. And if the UN didn’t cause cholera, it doesn’t owe Haiti’s cholera victims.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

An Inconvenient Truth: Hurricane Matthew and Cholera in Haiti

Haiti Support Group

October 2016

Hurricane Matthew made landfall at Les Anglais, Haiti on the 4 October 2016. The category 4 storm brought 150mph winds, sheets of rain and ocean surges that cascaded furiously upon the Haitian shoreline. The areas affected are wounded; homes, businesses, churches and centres of city life have been flooded. Death tolls currently range from 300-1000, and many thousands more have been forced from their homes.

This past week, however, Haitians did not powerlessly watch Matthew wash through their land, waiting for foreign aid to appear. They have banded together – families, neighbours, cooperatives, work societies, community, solidarity and diaspora groups – to begin the clean-up, and get the affected regions back on their feet. Yet, once again, the media and the “international community” have chosen to present Haitians as passive, fatalistic, superstitious and cavalier (yes, all at once!).

Although this is a time of great sadness, we must also be vigilant. Over the course of the past week, the UN, aided by many major charities and NGOs, has done all it can to claim, with a snake-tongued audacity, that Hurricane Matthew represents the “largest humanitarian event” to hit Haiti since the 2010 earthquake.


Click HERE for the full text.

Congressman Hastings Urges Expansion of TPS for Haitians After Hurricane Matthew

October 12, 2016 - 09:18

For Immediate Release                                                                                                Contact: Evan Polisar

October 12, 2016                                                                                                                (202) 225-1313

Hastings Urges President Obama to Expand TPS for Haitians Affected by Hurricane Matthew

(Fort Lauderdale, FL) Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) sent the following letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to set a date under Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation that will account for the effects of Hurricane Matthew on the country.(Please find below and attached a copy of the letter.)

October 12, 2016

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I write to you today to respectfully request that you set a date under Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation that will account for the devastating effects Hurricane Matthew has had on that country.

As I know you are aware, on October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti causing catastrophic damage throughout the country. As of the writing of this letter, over 800 Haitians are reported dead and 350,000 in need of assistance. Jeremie, Haiti, the capital of Haiti’s Grand’Anse Department, saw 80% of its buildings levelled during the hurricane. In Haiti’s Sud Province, 30,000 homes have been destroyed and crops devastated.

It is generally agreed that when Hurricane Matthew made landfall earlier this week, Haiti had still not fully recovered from the 2010 earthquake, which was responsible for the deaths of over 200,000 Haitians, incredible structural damage and a horrific cholera epidemic.

Given these facts, I believe it is appropriate to grant a TPS designation for those Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew, and I ask that you do all that you can to ensure that such a designation is made without delay and uses as its Continuous Residence date, October 4, 2016.

Finally, I would like to reiterate that which was stated in the bi-partisan letter I joined with over fifty of my colleagues and was recently sent to you – namely that an immediate halt should be put to the Department of Homeland Security’s recently announced decision to resume deportations to Haiti. Such a policy is ill-advised given Haiti’s current situation.

Thank you for your timely attention to this matter. Should you or your staff have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 202-225-1313.


Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.


US Pauses Deportations to Haiti After Hurricane Matthew

October 11, 2016 - 18:50

Given the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to pause its planned deportations of Haitians coming to the US-Mexico border. When Haitian migrants started arriving in large numbers to the San Ysidro crossing in San Diego, DHS had decided to resume non-criminal deportations to Haiti, which had been on hold since the 2010 earthquake. It is unclear how soon conditions in Haiti will improve, or how soon the deportations will be resumed.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article.

US policy on deporting Haitians on hold in wake of hurricane

Peter Orsi, The Washington Post

October 11, 2016

MEXICO CITY — Hurricane Matthew’s destruction in Haiti has put on hold a new policy of deporting Haitians who are in the United States without permission but the government intends to return to it in the future, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday.

Speaking in Mexico City where he held talks with Cabinet officials on border, migration and security issues, Johnson noted that some flights to Haiti have been suspended in the wake of the storm, which has killed hundreds of people.

“We will have to deal with that situation, address it, be sympathetic to the plight of the people of Haiti as a result of the hurricane,” he said. “But after that situation, after that condition has been addressed, we intend to resume the policy change that I brought about several weeks ago.”

The United States stopped deporting Haitians after the Caribbean country was hit by a devastating earthquake in 2010, freeing them on humanitarian parole instead. But on Sept. 21, Homeland Security began putting Haitians in detention facilities as a prelude to sending them home.



Click HERE for the full article.

After Matthew, Haitian Cholera Victims Need Justice More than Ever

October 10, 2016 - 12:26

Last month, the United Nations finally admitted responsibility for the cholera epidemic in Haiti, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has even promised to reveal a plan to fight cholera. Now that Hurricane Matthew has brought even more water into a place where contaminated water is a major problem, Haitian cholera victims need the UN response even sooner. Some are skeptical that cholera can be eliminated in Haiti but it has been eliminated in other poor countries around the world as recently as 2000. The UN just has to be willing to invest in solving the problem it caused.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti Needs A Plan To Eradicate Cholera – The UN Cannot Wait One. More. Day.

Julianna LeMieux, ACSH

October 10, 2016

The United Nations took responsibility for starting the cholera epidemic in Haiti that has killed over 9,000 people and sickened hundreds of thousands more. After six years, it admitted that it brought Vibrio cholerae, the bacteria that causes cholera, to Haiti when a  peacekeepers battalion arrived from Nepal in October 2010.Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made the U.N.’s culpability clear when he referred to the tragedy in his opening remarks to the General Assembly. While addressing world leaders in French, he spoke directly about the cholera epidemic while stressing the need for a new strategy.“I have a lot of regret and sorrow for the terrible suffering of the Haitian people affected by cholera. A new strategy is needed to alleviate their distress and improve their living conditions. We are firmly resolved to fulfill this moral responsibility.” he said,  “Later, I will give you details on this strategy. Let us work together to meet our obligations to the Haitian people.”And now, with the damage from Hurricane Matthew, the situation will get much, much worse – and quickly. Because cholera is spread through contaminated water, the destruction brought by Matthew – devastating infrastructure and bringing in more water, is a one-two punch of the worst kind.…Click HERE for the full text.

UN Statement on Hurricane Matthew Relief

October 10, 2016 - 10:14

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a statement on the UN’s plan for relief in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew. In the announcement of the relief plan, he also appealed to donors to help fund the plan, emphasizing that the need is urgent.

UN appeals for $120 million to launch ‘massive response’ in storm-ravaged Haiti

UN News Centre

October 10, 2016

10 October 2016 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the launch of a near $120 million appeal to fund United Nations aid activities in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, where the rising death toll coupled with the start of the rainy season has prompted the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to sound the alarm on the threat of waterborne diseases to children living in the worst-affected areas.

“Hundreds have died. At least 1.4 million people need assistance at this time. Some towns and villages have been almost wiped off the map. Crops and food reserves have been destroyed. At least 300 schools have been damaged, Mr. Ban told reporters at UN Headquarters today, express his deepest condolences and sympathies to those affected by the hurricane.

He said the numbers of those impacted and the needs are growing as more affected areas are reached. Moreover, tensions are already mounting as people await help. “A massive response is required,” he said, adding that UN teams are working with local officials to assess needs.

Humanitarian appeal

“Today in Geneva, we launched a $120 million flash appeal covering the UN system’s nee ds for the next three months,” the Secretary-General announced, recalling that this past Friday, the UN Centra l Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocated $5 million in emergency funds to kick-start assistance in the wake of the deadly stor m, following the release earlier in the week of a loan of $8 million dollars to the UNICEF to scale up response to the worsening cholera epidemic in Haiti.

The so-called Flash Appeal , launched by the UN on behalf of the international humanitarian community, requests $119,850 to respond to “the most urgent needs” of people impacted by the storm, which ma de landfall in Haiti on 4 October and went on to leave a swath of devastation throughout the Caribbean and the South-east ern United States.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OC HA), the appeal targets vulnerable groups in identified priority sectors, and it takes into account the national-level c apacities and those of humanitarian partners on the ground. Over the next week, partners will develop individual projects in suppor t of sector activities and financial requirements identified in this appeal, adapting the response to the most up- to-date assessment results.

In a separate statement today, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien stressed that funding of t he appeal is urgently needed to enable humanitarian actors to respond to people most in need be fore the situation further deteriorates, including by addressing the risks posed by cholera and other deadly waterborne disea ses.

“Families th at were fortunate to survive the hurricane now find themselves in a struggle to survi ve, with thousands of homes and livelihoods washed away by the storm,” he said, recalling that the country was al ready facing health challenges, including an increase in cases of cholera as well as severe food insecurity, bef ore the hurricane hit.

‘We are in a race against time,’ warns UNICEF, fearing rapid spread of di seases

Mr. Ban went on to note that he is developing a new approach to the cholera situation, which will encompass support for people affected by the disease and for efforts to build sound water, sanita tion and health systems in order to help eliminate cholera in Haiti. This disaster makes it even more vital to significantly s tep up our support and to do so right now, he stressed.

“The United Nations is mobilizing across all fronts to support the people , the Government and local groups such as the Red Cross in getting recovery under way as quickly as possible. I call on the internat ional community to show solidarity and generosity – and to work together effectively in responding to this emergency,” state d the Secretary-General.

Meanwhile, UNICEF has warned that overflowing rivers, stagnant waters, and anim al and human corpses are perfect breeding grounds for waterborne diseases. “Every day that goes by increases t he threat of cholera. We are in a race against time to get to these children before diseases do,” Marc Vincent, UNICEF Re presentative for Haiti, said in a press statement .

Even before the hurricane in Haiti, UNICEF noted that only one in three people had access to proper latrines and less than three in five to safe water. In rural areas, these rates go down to one in four for sa nitation and one in two for water. Diarrhoea is one of the main killers of children under-five in the country.

“Haiti has one of the highest incidence rates of cholera in the world,” underscored Mr . Vincent. “Almost 10,000 people have died from the disease since 2010 and more than 27,000 suspected cas es have been reported so far this year, an estimated one in three of them children,” he added.

Since the 2010 outbreak, UNICEF, in partnership with the Haitian government and va rious partners, has been fighting waterborne diseases – including cholera – by improving access to water, sani tation and health services for Haitian children and their families, while promoting rapid response to cholera cases.

From that time until now, UNICEF has established or maintained 1,270 oral rehydrati on points and 149 cholera treatment units in high-risk areas where nearly 140,000 suspected cases were treated. In June an d July of this year alone, the agency responded to more than 1,000 cholera alerts in all 10 departments of the country, benefit ing about 8,000 households.

“With the hurricane’s devastating impact on an already fragile system, UNIC EF will continue to scale up its cholera response and address the emerging water and sanitation needs,” vowed Mr. Vincent, n oting that key components of UNICEF’s immediate response include acquiring water purification table ts, treating collective water sources, and setting up latrines in temporary shelters and informal settlements.

The western cities of Les Cayes and Jeremie suffered the full force the Ca tegory 4 hurricane – sustaining heavy rains, winds and water damage across wide areas.

In the midst of the crisis, pregnant women are also among some of the most vulnerabl e, the UN says.

According to the UN Population Fund (UNPFA), some 8,400 women are expected to give birth in the n ext three months and another 1,200 could need Caesarean sections. These numbers are in addition to at leas t 280,000 women of childbearing age in the affected areas who will need quality health services in the coming months.

To help respond to this urgency, the UN agency is sending 252 emergency reproductive heal th kits that will provide equipment, medicines and supplies for safe deliveries, voluntary family p lanning, rape treatment and other services for 450,000 people for the next three months.

Click HERE for the original article.

Click HERE for the full appeal.

After Hurricane Matthew, UN cholera threatens Haiti

October 9, 2016 - 07:52

In 2010, United Nations peacekeepers introduced cholera to Haiti, sickening more than 700,000, and killing over 9,000 people. As of Sunday, Port-Salut HCR Hospital started to see more cases of cholera, which is a water-borne disease. “Cholera is going to spread, no doubt,” said Mario Joseph of BAI-IJDH, who sued the UN on behalf of Haitian cholera victims.

After Hurricane Matthew, cholera is once again threatening storm-ravaged Haiti

by Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

October 9th, 2016

PORT-SALUT, HAITI . Before Hurricane Matthew’s apocalyptic plow through this one-time tourist haven on Haiti’s southwest coast, Port-Salut’s small hospital hadn’t seen a cholera case in three months.

On Sunday, as Haiti faced the double threat of starvation and cholera — the deadly water-borne disease that since 2010 has sickened more than 700,000 and killed over 9,000 — Port-Salut HCR Hospital was once again starting to see cholera cases.

By Sunday, the hospital, which has only five cholera beds, had registered one death at 3 a.m. and had six cholera cases. In the Grand’ Anse, where the storm turned a once-green ecological reserve into a desert of dead trees, doctors were also seeing cases.

“I can’t say how many, but there are a lot,” said Dr. Sophia Cherestal, with Doctors Without Borders.

Meanwhile in northwest Haiti where Matthew battered Bombardopolis, a dirt-poor community in the hills of Môle-Saint-Nicolas, four people have already died since the storm, said Dr. Rony Pierre, in charge of the health ministry for the Northwest. Several cases have been confirmed in that community and in nearby Ile de LaTortue, an island off the northwest coast.

For days, Haiti’s health ministry has insisted that it had pre-positioned aqua tablets and oral rehydration serum around the country to fight the scourge of cholera, an acute disease that can kill within hours if untreated.

And while according to Pierre, health officials have started to distribute life-saving supplies in the Northwest, doctors, nurses and residents in southwestern communities around Port-Salut, like Roche-a-Bateau and Port-à-Piment, say they have yet to see any supplies. Meanwhile, the cases keep coming.

“With the hurricane, it’s certain that in the coming days cholera will rise,” said Dr. Stevenson Desravines, who works at the Port-Salut hospital, which has been receiving referrals from Port-a-Piment. “They don’t have aqua tablets to treat the water.”

Evens Samedi, 23, ended up at the cholera clinic after stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting woke him up in the middle of the night. Samedi, who took a motorcycle-taxi to the clinic, said he started getting sick after drinking water from a spring.

Always fearful of contracting cholera, he said, he suspected the water could make him ill but he had nothing else to drink.

Samedi, who lives in Roche-a-Bateau, a rural community that was pulverized by Matthew, said his uncle also drank the water. But his uncle, suffering from stomach pains, was refusing to seek medical attention, he said.

As Samedi fought back the pain while sitting a wooden bench with an IV attached to his hand, Nolen Hyppolite slowly pushed an IV pole across the room. Frail, she sat down next to him, holding onto the pole for support.

Hyppolite said she wasn’t convinced that she had contracted cholera, even though that’s what doctors were treating her for. She said she had drunk well water in the days after Matthew flattened her home outside Roche-a-Bateau, where almost every home lining the beachfront was destroyed in the Category 4 storm.

“Even before this, the water used to make me sick,” Hyppolite, 24, said. “But since I couldn’t get any aqua tabs to treat the water, I drank it. You can’t live without drinking water.”

Hyppolite said something else probably caused her sickness — the trauma of the storm or gas, because she doesn’t always eat properly.

Emmanuela Denis, a nurse at the hospital, said it’s common for patients like Hyppolite to blame their ailments on everything but cholera. But the center treats all suspected cases the same.

According to the ministry of health, there are 62 cases of cholera alone in Port-a-Piment and 37 in Jeremie. They had none counted for Port-Salut, despite the fact that several patients were being treated at the HCR hospital and one corpse was still covered with a sheet in the cholera treatment center Sunday. The storm’s waters had split the main bridge connecting Port-a-Piment and Roche-a-Bateau in two, complicating matters. Still, a Land Rover from Doctors Without Borders managed to drive through the river to haul cholera treatment supplies to Port-a-Piment from a trailer parked on the other side.

Haiti was already in the midst of the rainy season before the storm, and as a result, some say those with cholera were ill before Tuesday when the storm hit.

“Cholera is not worsening as a result of Matthew based on the incubation period,” Dr. Gabriel Timothée, the director general of the health ministry said.

Still, doctors in areas that have been hard-hit by the storm say they’ve seen an increase in cases since Friday. Making matters worse, said one worker, is that several health clinics have been damaged and health providers are staying home.

“Cholera is going to spread, no doubt,” said Mario Joseph, a human rights lawyer who is part of a team that sued the United Nations on behalf of Haiti’s cholera victims.

Joseph said he had heard reports of increased cholera cases in the outskirts of Port-Salut and he drove from the capital to investigate for himself.

“People are really afraid that more people are going to die because of this complicated situation,” he said, standing on a street in Roche-a-Bateau. “It’s not normal that three, four days after the storm we have people dying. There are roads. They can come and get help.”

Observers say while a resurgence of cholera is what most scares them, they also fear an onset of other water-borne diseases. Matthew’s rains flooded septic tanks, raised graves and drowned livestock.

Still, in the days that followed, Haitians could be seen in Leogane walking barefoot in flood waters, bathing and washing in dirty river water in Port-Salut and drinking untreated water in the Grand’ Anse.

“All of the wells are broken,” said Ericq Eracin, 21, one of scores of hurricane victims who had sought shelter at a school on the outskirts of Jeremie. “If we get a cholera outbreak here, it would be really bad for us. We’re already suffering. Our only salvation is to find some water.”

Mourad Wahba, the United Nations resident humanitarian coordinator for Haiti who visited Jeremie a few days after the storm, said the problems with sanitation and water require urgent attention.

“There is going to be a health crisis if we don’t do something fast,” Wahba said.

As fears of the epidemic’s worsening emerged last week, the United Nation’s Central Emergency Response Fund released an $8 million loan to UNICEF to increase its response to the epidemic. On Monday, the global body is expected to launch a post-Matthew humanitarian appeal for Haiti that will also include money for cholera, said Yvonne Helle, country director for the United Nations Development Fund.

Before Matthew became a threat, the United Nations was preparing to seek between $360 million and $400 million for a new cholera plan in Haiti. The plan came after U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon finally acknowledged the organization’s role in introducing cholera to Haiti — where it hadn’t been seen in a century — after the country’s Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake. The outbreak after the earthquake was traced to U.N. peacekeepers.

Dr. Renaud Piarroux, a French doctor who has studied Haiti’s cholera epidemic, said the hurricane response should not replace the efforts to rid Haiti of cholera. Now is the time, he said, to strengthen the fight.

“We need teams of Haitian civil protection workers to travel to all localities to measure the extent of the damage and repair what can be. If there are cases of cholera, they need to send teams to avoid the occurrence of outbreaks,” Piarroux said from Paris. “The day we eliminate cholera in Haiti, it will be less of problem that needs to be solved in the aftermath of a hurricane.”


Click HERE for the original article

Reputable Haitian organizations for Matthew donations

October 8, 2016 - 09:54

Looking for ways to help? Check out these pages below to donate to reputable Haitian grassroots organizations.



Dear Friends,


While HELP staff, students and infrastructure were spared as Hurricane Matthew veered westward before it hit Haiti on Tuesday, many of you have by now seen pictures of the devastation that the storm brought to southwestern Haiti.  We have several students and staff from that area and at least one staff member’s family home was destroyed.


HELP students are mobilizing to provide relief to the communities in the South.  Jeremie native Nepthaly PIERRE-LOUIS (HELP class of ’17) will be bringing food and other supplies to the Grand’Anse tomorrow with The Association of University Students of the Grand’Anse. HELP has donated $500 to this effort and HELP staff have raised an additional $100. Other students will be heading to their hometowns in the south and southwest. Please follow our Facebook page for updates.


If you are interested in supporting grassroots hurricane efforts like this, please consider donating. Please note “hurricane relief” with the donation and we will put it towards the efforts our students are leading.


Here is a non-exhaustive list of other organizations we can recommend, with a history and presence in the areas hardest hit.


Aquin : La Fondation Aquin Solidarité  ( Cayes: Hope For Haiti Paradis des Indiens through their US affiliate: Perrin: Project St Anne.


Thank you for keeping Haiti and Haitians in your thoughts and prayers.


NYT call for cholera justice, deportation suspension, and cautious generosity

October 7, 2016 - 15:18

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, people around the globe are eager to help victims of the hurricane in any way they can. The New York Times Editorial Board discusses the need to donate cautiously, and to organizations with a legitimized history of helping Haitians on the ground. The Board also analyzes the need for the next UN Security General, António Guterres, as well as member nations, to take up the UN’s obligation to eradicate cholera in Haiti, once and for all.

Haiti’s New Catastrophe

The Editorial Board, The New York Times

October 7, 2016

Drawing by Rachel Levitt (from original article)


Hurricane Matthew battered Florida and points north on Friday, having already wreaked deadly havoc in the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti. All those along its path need aid and protection and, when the wind and rain end, swift help in rebuilding.

But Haiti needs it most.

The southwestern part of the country, already isolated before being cut off by the storm, has been ravaged. In the city of Jérémie, about 80 percent of the buildings were flattened. The aerial photographs are heart-wrenching: What last week was an urban grid is now a smear of sticks, bricks and mud. The rough estimates of the nationwide death toll on Friday fluctuated — 200, 500, 800. All that seemed certain was that the number would rise.

Natural catastrophes are tragically familiar in Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake in 2010 — an acute emergency laid cruelly upon chronic poverty and underdevelopment. But equally familiar is the tragically misguided disaster response. Charity flows in all directions, many of them wrong. It is sent to organizations with shallow connections in the country, to be managed by and for the benefit of non-Haitians, soaked up in overhead or misspent on projects that languish and development that never comes. Much pledged aid never arrives.

The pressing needs now, before the rebuilding, are clean water, food and health care. Among the most fearsome imminent dangers is the spread of cholera, the disease that the United Nations inflicted on Haiti, through the recklessness of its troops, then spent years shrugging off its responsibility for. With more than one million Haitians affected by the hurricane, the United Nations Population Fund has also been calling attention to the needs of pregnant women, more than 8,400 of whom are expected to give birth in the next three months.

The man who is expected to take over as United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, will inherit a special obligation to develop and fully fund a plan to bring clean water and sanitation to Haiti, and to revive a languishing effort to eradicate, not just contain, cholera.

The organization’s member nations, meanwhile, need to answer the urgent appeal for relief aid, and then deliver on their promises. The United States government has another responsibility, beyond humanitarian relief: The Department of Homeland Security should immediately reinstitute temporary protected status for Haitians in the United States, and suspend efforts to deport unauthorized immigrants back to the disaster zone.

People who are moved to help should temper generosity with caution, and consult guides to effective, reputable charities. Hard experience shows how donations go astray: The Red Cross raised $500 million in appeals after the Haiti earthquake, but reporters for NPR and ProPublica, in an exhaustive investigation, searched in vain for where all that money went.

The looming damage from the storm takes on an extra dimension in Florida, the epicenter of American political disasters. Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, deserves credit for taking Matthew seriously — his calls to Floridians to flee the storm were strong, clear and utterly appropriate. But he has also sought political advantage in the wreckage. He has rebuffed sensible calls to extend voter-registration deadlines, which means thousands of evacuees will risk losing not just their homes, but also their voice in the presidential election. “Everybody has had a lot of time to register,” Mr. Scott told reporters, a dubious judgment that neatly benefits his role as the leader of a “super PAC” that supports Donald Trump. (Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina has extended deadlines in her state.)

Maybe before the winds die down, Mr. Scott could come to his senses on Floridians’ right to vote. And when the skies clear, maybe his levelheaded response to the reality of Matthew’s deadly winds and rain could also lead him and his fellow Republicans to confront the reality and consequences of climate change, a subject he refuses to acknowledge, and the likelihood of even more powerful storms and rising seas. Whether he and his party admit it or not, something very real has been causing parts of his state to keep sinking and other parts, from time to time, to get blown away.

Click HERE for the original article.

Brian Concannon “To the Point” Interview: Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti

October 7, 2016 - 12:55

KCRW gave an interview with Brian Concannon on Hurricane Matthew. To access the interview, click the link below, scroll to the second play option under “From This Episode” titled Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti

Click HERE to listen to the interview.

Statement on Hurricane Matthew

October 7, 2016 - 12:20
The BAI/IJDH team in Haiti has reported in safe after Hurricane Matthew.  BAI still has no news, however, from some clients in the hard hit southwest. And we are very concerned about the likelihood of a spike in cholera deaths as a result of the flooding.The Haitian government is asking for people not to donate clothes or food, as that undermines local businesses. Donating funds to local Haitian grassroots groups and Haitian-led initiatives it the best path to short-term recovery. IJDH and BAI continue to work for long-term stability and prosperity, including resilience to natural disasters, by supporting good governance and an active democracy.



Please visit our Hurricane Matthew Relief page to learn more.

Calls for accountability: Cholera outbreak expected to worsen after Matthew

October 7, 2016 - 11:58

Hurricane Matthew is expected to greatly worsen the existing, man-made suffering that the Haitian people have been facing for years. As the cholera outbreak that began in 2010 is only expected to worsen in the coming days and weeks, Michael Posner analyzes the previous and existing UN plans to combat the epidemic.

Hurricane Matthew Has Exacerbated the Debt We Owe to Haiti

Michael Posner, Newsweek

October 7, 2016

A woman carries a child walking between trees felled by Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 6, 2016. Michael Posner writes that many of Haiti’s people are without drinking water and the spread of cholera is all but certain. (Photo from original article)


This week Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti, dealing another blow to our poorest, most challenged neighbor.

After an earthquake in 2010 killed more than 200,000 people, a United Nations peacekeeping force introduced cholera to Haiti, infecting almost 800,000 people. According to Doctors Without Borders, there have been close to 30,000 cholera-related deaths.

Six years later, the U.N.’s failure to address the cholera outbreak in Haiti and to develop a viable long-term plan to eradicate the disease continues to seriously undermine the credibility of its peacekeeping operations.

In the wake of Matthew, the challenge to the U.N. and the international community is now exponentially greater and more urgent. Many of Haiti’s 11 million people are now without safe drinking water, and further spread of cholera is all but certain.

Cholera was introduced in Haiti through poor waste disposal at a U.N. peacekeeping base. It travels through contaminated water with devastating effects on the most economically vulnerable people.

The country’s weak infrastructure and public health system has led to an estimated 25,000 new cases between January and July of this year. These infection rates have been rising, in part, because of dwindling international funding. The destruction and flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew significantly increases the need for substantially greater resources now.

For six years, U.N. lawyers strenuously resisted acknowledging any responsibility for the outbreak, in part because they feared that to do so would set a legal precedent. When a federal lawsuit in New York filed by families of the victims was dismissed in August, this cleared the way for the U.N. to acknowledge its responsibility.

To his credit, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stepped up, acknowledging to the U.N. General Assembly last month that the Haitian cholera epidemic has “tarnished the reputation of the United Nations and, far worse, traumatized many people we serve.”

He went on to say, “I feel tremendous regret and sorrow at the profound suffering of Haitians affected by cholera.” He urged member states, “Let us work together to meet our obligations to the Haitian people.”

There are three sets of obligations that the U.N. and key member states must now address.

First are the immediate public health concerns. Prior to this week, the U.N. and Haitian government had announced a midterm cholera control plan for 2016-2018, to cost $178 million. The objective of this plan, however, is to contain and control cholera, not to invest in eradicating it.

It would focus on eight especially hard hit areas, making potable water available and presumably covering medical costs of those stricken with cholera in those areas. The U.N. has appointed Dr. David Nabbaro, a public health expert, to coordinate this effort, which UNICEF, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Bank are also supporting.

But few member states have made hard financial commitments to fund these efforts. The challenge  after Matthew is that there are now dozens of hard hit areas, not just eight, and Nabarro and the U.N. need to persuade states, including the United States, to pledge substantially increased resources commensurate with this new reality.

The second set of obligations relate to a longer term need to eradicate cholera.

The U.N. and member states should adopt a 10-year time frame, and develop an ambitious plan prioritizing the distribution of clean water and decent sanitation across the country. Today, Haiti lacks this basic infrastructure that is essential to eliminate waterborne diseases.

This type of eradication effort is not now on the table. What does exist is a 2012 plan jointly released by the U.N. and Haitian government that promised $2.2 billion to eradicate the disease by 2022. However, over the past four years, less than a quarter of the funds needed for that plan have been raised, leaving it largely abandoned in practice.

The third set of obligations for the U.N. and its member states relate to compensating the victims and their families.

Reportedly, the U.N. has been considering a $200 million fund for this, though advocates are proposing doubling that amount. There is disagreement about whether this is a general fund for localized projects in the communities most severely affected or should also include individual compensation for the families of the victims.

As various Haitian and international groups have proposed, it should do both. While skeptics are right to be concerned that endemic corruption in Haiti would pose a serious challenge to effective distribution of these funds, such challenges need to be addressed.

In fact for any of these efforts to succeed, the U.N. and key governments, including the United States, need to link their development and human rights agendas more closely. We all must recognize that Haiti’s economic future and the health of its people are tied to meaningful democratic reform. If not now, when?


Click HERE for the original article.

IJDH Statement on Hurricane Matthew

October 7, 2016 - 11:07


The BAI/IJDH team in Haiti has reported in safe after Hurricane Matthew.  BAI still has no news, however, from some clients in the hard hit southwest. And we are very concerned about the likelihood of a spike in cholera deaths as a result of the flooding.The Haitian government is asking for people not to donate clothes or food, as that undermines local businesses. Donating funds to local Haitian grassroots groups and Haitian-led initiatives it the best path to short-term recovery. IJDH and BAI continue to work for long-term stability and prosperity, including resilience to natural disasters, by supporting good governance and an active democracy.

Obama under pressure to reverse new deportation policy after Matthew

October 7, 2016 - 10:26

Two weeks after the United States Department of Homeland Security announced it has resumed deportation of undocumented Haitian immigrants, Haiti was struck by one of the worst humanitarian disasters since the 2010 earthquake. Several US-Haiti affiliates, including IJDH’s Nicole Phillips, are calling on the Obama administration to reverse its decision in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Deportation to a disaster zone: Obama under pressure to stop crackdown on Haitian migrants as Hurricane Matthew wreaks havoc on island

Daniel Denvir, Salon

October 7th, 2016

Flooded street after the passing of Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti. (Picture from original article)


Hurricane Matthew has, as President Barack Obama put it, “hit Haiti with devastating effect,” reportedly leaving at least 283 dead and thousands displaced. This calamity, however, comes just two weeks after the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that it would resume the regular deportation of Haitians from the United States.

Six years ago the government had granted a respite following the massive January 2010 earthquake, and the new directive puts unauthorized Haitian migrants currently in the country in jeopardy of deportation. More immediately, it has left many migrants facing an uncertain future at the U.S.-Mexico border, where thousands of Haitians have recently made their way from Brazil.

In announcing the resumed deportations on Sept. 22, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, had declared that “the situation in Haiti has improved sufficiently.” That assertion, however dubious at the time, is now in serious doubt. Advocates hope that the hurricane will spur President Obama to reverse course.

“It would make sense that the secretary reconsider his decision,” said Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition’s president, Jean-Robert Lafortune, “based on the devastation of the hurricane.”

Contacted for comment, Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Catron told Salon by email that “no further announcements have been made at this time. DHS is monitoring Hurricane Matthew and will assess its impact on current policies as appropriate.”

It’s unclear whether Haitians already in the U.S. have been deported since the new directive was issued. Cheryl Little, executive director of the Miami-based Americans for Immigrant Justice, said her organization represents a number of Haitians who face deportation and she is not aware of any new moves to detain and deport those already present in the States. More than anything, the new policy seems directed at stemming the entry of Haitians streaming up from Brazil to the U.S.-Mexico border. Haitians had flocked to Brazil after the earthquake to seek economic opportunity but that country’s economy is now in a downward spiral.

In the current fiscal year, 4,844 Haitians have so far presented themselves at U.S. ports of entry and been determined inadmissible, the vast majority in the San Diego region, according to Customs and Border Protection. That’s compared to just 795 at this point last year…


Click HERE for full article.

Four minute Boston CBS interview with IJDH’s Brian Concannon

October 7, 2016 - 07:45

Click HERE to check out the interview on Hurricane Matthew, why the death toll is so high, and how to help.

Reuters reporting ‘worst yet to come’ as information progresses

October 7, 2016 - 07:26

According to UNICEF, Haiti is facing its biggest humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake. As information has began to flow from isolated regions of Haiti, Reuters is reporting that as of Friday morning, at least 478 people have been killed due to Hurricane Matthew. Numbers are expected to climb as more information becomes available.

Haiti: Hurricane Matthew leaves hundreds dead, ‘worst yet to come’

Madison Park, Angela Dewan, Elizabeth Roberts, CNN

October 7, 2016

Hurricane Matthew pummels Haiti. (Photo from original article)


(CNN) – Haiti had only just begun rebuilding from a devastating earthquake six years ago when Hurricane Matthew tore through the small Caribbean nation on Tuesday, killing hundreds in its path and inundating entire villages.

Once again much of the country is a disaster zone, with powerful Matthew shredding homes and engulfing communities in knee-deep water that is taking time to recede.At least 271 people have been killed since Matthew made landfall in Haiti as a Category 4 hurricane, and officials in the country warn that the death toll is only likely to rise. Reuters reported that the number of people killed in Haiti had risen sharply to at least 478 people on Friday as information began to flow in from areas that had been cut off. The news agency tallied figures from various civil protection officials.“We have nothing left to survive on, all the crops have gone, all fruit trees are down, I don’t have a clue how this is going to be fixed,” said Marc Soniel Noel, the deputy mayor of Chantal in the affected region.LIVE: Hurricane Matthew updatesThe current death toll does not take into account potential loss of life in the far southwest of the country, which have yet to be assessed due to “communication issues,” the Civil Protection Service said.‘Significant loss of life’For now, the focus is just reaching victims, as the only bridge linking the capital Port-au-Prince to the worst-affected southwest was damaged.By Thursday, however, the bridge that spans the Rivière la Digue in Petit-Goâve was partially passable, though still unfit for large-scale aid deliveries.Conduit roads too are blocked by collapsed palm trees and debris, forcing agencies to consider air dropping of supplies as the skies clear and flying becomes a safer option.

The bridge collapse in Petit Goave cut responders off from road access.Jonathan Hughes, emergency manager with Americares, said that the agency had been able to conduct flyovers to assess the situation and that entire villages had been flooded, saying there was likely “significant loss of life.”Hughes was speaking from the town of Les Cayes, surrounded by rural areas where he said up to 80% of homes had been damaged.‘Emergency after an emergency’Not only are logistics a major challenge, the magnitude of the disaster appears to have been wildly underestimated.“In the city of Jeremie in the west, there were only five planned evacuation centers there, but in the last 48 hours, that’s popped up to 25 centers. These are just makeshift shelters,” CARE USA emergency communications manager Holly Frew told CNN Friday.

Residents take a mattress to a shelter after homes were destroyed in Les Cayes, Haiti.She said that there was a “massive influx” of people to the shelters, which are struggling to find space for people cramming together to sleep on the floor.“The priority is to get food and water to these people. Of course aid agencies like us had supplies pre-positioned before the storm, but there’s only so much you can do in a storm this size, and as the the number of centers has more than doubled, the need has risen,” Frew said.She explained that the people in the affected region had already been suffering from drought before the hurricane hit.

A woman stands in a field of destroyed trees on Thursday.“People have lost a lot. Some of those who bore the brunt of the storm are still in a state of shock. But some caught in the eye of the storm are feeling lucky to be alive.”Ariane Quentier, spokeswoman for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, said: “What we are realizing, as we are going further … is that there’s been a lot of devastation and a lot of damage and probably a lot more than what we had initially assessed.”Haiti was only just beginning the “development” phase to rebuild infrastructure following the 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of the country, said Ines Brill, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies representative for Haiti.“This is an emergency after an emergency, which makes things more complex than a typical disaster,” she told CNN.Dr. Charles-Patrick Almazor, chief chief medical officer in Haiti for Partners in Health, told ABC News: “Though the storm has passed, experience tells us that the worst is yet to come. What would be the immediate need is to make sure that people get safe drinking water and safe water for washing.”Humanitarian crisis

Haitians wait to cross the river in Petit Goave where a bridge collapsed cutting off a main route to the devastated south of the countryHurricane Matthew’s ferocious impact left 350,000 people in need of assistance. The country’s civil protection authority said that 186 people were injured and more than 61,000 people were now in temporary shelters.Kevin Novotny, country director for Save the Children in Haiti, said staff based in Les Cayes observed that “a lot of houses are destroyed there. Anything with a tin roof lost it.”UNICEF had warned on Wednesday that Haiti is facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake, which killed at least 220,000, injured 300,000 and displaced 1.5 million people.Haitian officials postponed the presidential elections, which had been scheduled for Sunday, due to the hurricane.Related: 12 photos that capture Haiti destruction

The devastated town of Jeremie, west Haiti, in the aftermath of the hurricane.Cholera epidemic could worsenImages showed residents wading through muddy waters and farm fields choked with flood waters as crops floated lifelessly.The impact of the hurricane immediately raised public health concerns, especially about the availability of clean water, food and shelter.Partners in Health warned that the hurricane would likely worsen the country’s cholera epidemic.The Pan American Health Organization sent epidemiologists with cholera experience this week to Haiti.Click HERE for the original article.