A Compassion child stands in front of what is left of his home after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – October 13, 2016 – Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 hurricane, struck Haiti last Tuesday, devastating thousands of Compassion-assisted children and their families, and several dozen Compassion child development centers within local church partners. Damage assessments to date reveal millions of dollars in recovery and rebuilding needs. The global child development organization is calling for donations to support its ongoing relief and recovery efforts, and expected reconstruction needs in the wake of this tragedy.
Current reports show that 81 Compassion child development centers in Haiti are temporarily closed, including 78 centers that suffered significant damage or were destroyed. These centers are unable to deliver Compassion’s life-saving programs to children in poverty. Of the 30 child development centers Compassion rebuilt following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, 14 were in the storm’s path. None suffered damage.
In addition, 5,578 Compassion-assisted children or their homes have been impacted or injured. Of those children impacted, 3,603 have been temporarily or permanently moved to another location due to damage or destruction of their homes.Three children, 13 caregivers and five siblings have died. The locations and physical condition of several Compassion-assisted children is unknown, but Compassion staff in Haiti is working hard to find these children and their families.
“We deployed an emergency team to the affected areas in south Haiti to deliver supplies, such as food, water and hygiene kits, and to assist those church partners that are serving as temporary shelters," said Guilbaud Saint-Cyr, Compassion Haiti’s country director. “Our primary short-term priorities after partial assessment of the hurricane’s impact include providing children and their families with food security and shelter, and to clean up and repair our church partner facilities in order to resume operation as quickly as possible."
As Haiti goes through this state of emergency, Compassion is calling for much-needed donations at http://www.compassion.com.
Compassion began its child development work in Haiti in 1968, with the Child Sponsorship Program. Today, Compassion serves 89,235 beneficiaries and works alongside 293 church partners in Haiti.