By Michael Ireland, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (www.assisnews.net)
COCONUT CREEK, FL (ANS, Oct. 8, 2016) — The death toll in Haiti as a result of Hurricane Matthew has ranged from nearly 300 reported by the central government, according to the Associated Press, to almost 900, as reported by Reuters, as information trickled in from remote areas previously cut off by the storm.
The United Nations said the disaster has affected 350,000 people and left Haiti facing its worst humanitarian crisis since the devastating earthquake six years ago.
Christian relief agency, Food For The Poor yesterday (Oct.7) rushed to deliver nine 40-foot containers of aid by barge from its Haiti warehouse to Jeremie, which reportedly took the full force of Hurricane Matthew’s 145-mph winds on Tuesday.
The shipment includes a forklift and a truck that will be used to take the containers to the Food For The Poor distribution site in Jeremie, located in the country’s southwestern peninsula.
In addition, five containers of WATA brand bottled water are being sent by generous supporters in Jamaica to the people of Haiti, according to the ministry www.FoodForThePoor.org.
Because of the immense devastation in southwest Haiti, the number of containers of aid to Haiti will climb well beyond 30, according to the preliminary estimate from earlier this week.
The ministry said in a media update that more than 1,000 people, including four pastors from Demorest, Georgia, sought refuge before and after the storm at the church at Pestel. They had no food and no water. Bishop Oge Beauvoir of Food For The Poor’s Haiti office intervened, and the group was rescued.
The ministry said two Angels Of Hope orphanages, Cassamajor in Les Cayes and St. Francois de A’ssise in Paillant, were significantly damaged or destroyed. The children are safe. Food For The Poor will send food, sheets/comforters, clothes, shoes and cleaning supplies. The charity also will provide building materials such as wood and metal sheets to make repairs.
The ministry added that Hormel Foods, a longtime Food For The Poor partner, is donating more 5,000 cases of food to the charity, which will arrive in Miami on Monday, then be shipped to Haiti.
The harvest in the southwestern part of the country is ruined, with all agriculture blown over or flooded. The charity has committed to send nearly 2 million pounds of rice in the coming months to alleviate the hunger this will cause.
Almost all buildings homes, schools and churches in southwest Haiti have lost their wood or metal roofs. Food For The Poor staff are surveying the damage and determining where roofs have failed so they can be built stronger in the future.
United States Southern Command, another Food For The Poor partner, has deployed disaster teams to Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas and is rapidly sending relief supplies from its warehouse in Miami.
Here is a video showing the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: www.FoodForThePoor.org/haiticrisis .
“Every aspect of relief and development in that part of the country will require the attention of Food For The Poor,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “All of the areas have suffered a staggering blow and housing, water, schools, agriculture and animal husbandry will need to be addressed.”
The ministry says support from generous donors is critical for the long-term continuity of this relief effort.
Here is a video of Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma talking about the need in Haiti: www.FoodForThePoor.org/haitineed .
To help storm victims in Haiti, cash donations are best. To help right now, please call 1-800-427-9104 or visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/hurricane
For those who would rather donate goods, Food For The Poor is accepting canned meats, canned fish and canned milk at its Coconut Creek warehouse at 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, Florida 33073. At this time, the charity is not accepting clothing donations.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America.
The interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
Photo captions: 1) Destruction in Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew (Photo Food For The Poor). 2) Damage in Haiti as a result of Hurricane Matthew (Photo Food For The Poor). 3) Michael Ireland.
About the Writer: Michael Ireland is a volunteer internet journalist serving as Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as an Ordained Minister who has served with ASSIST Ministries and written for ASSIST News Service since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. Please consider helping Michael cover his expenses in bringing news of the Persecuted Church, by logging-on to: https://actintl.givingfuel.com/ireland-michael
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