Hurricane Matthew One Year Later: FFP Donors Build More Than 2,600 New Housing Units in Haiti
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Oct. 3, 2017) Food For The Poor promised to remain with the people of Haiti on their long road to recovery after Hurricane Matthew lashed the country's southwestern peninsula one year ago – and the charity is living up to that commitment.
Compassionate donors have built 2,670 housing units since the storm and continue to provide essential aid to desperate families.
"Food For The Poor Haiti was able to help so many people and to really reach many communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, thanks to the great generosity of the American people," said Bishop Oge Beauvoir, Executive Director of Food For The Poor-Haiti in Port-au-Prince. "For that, we are deeply grateful to them. I pray that the God of all love continue to pour his blessings abundantly on them."
Shortly after Hurricane Matthew, the charity set an aggressive goal to build 1,000 housing units in 100 days to give people hope and move them quickly into sturdy shelter. Thanks to donors who answered Food For The Poor's call for help, the charity was able to build 1,086 housing units in 114 days. An additional 1,584 housing units have been built since then.
Now, when hundreds of families go to sleep at night, they no longer have to worry about rain pouring through a makeshift roof. They are living in a safe, secure concrete block home with water and sanitation components.
A year later, Food For The Poor continues to send aid to areas that were devastated by the storm. The charity has shipped 160 containers to Haiti, including food, water, generators, kerosene stoves, agricultural tools, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, building materials, hygiene kits, blankets and other goods.
"The road to recovery after a natural disaster is never easy, and it's been especially difficult for Haiti," said Robin Mahfood, President and CEO of Food For The Poor. "This hurricane destroyed so much, but it did not destroy the will to live or the desire for something better within its people. In spite of all the challenges, homes are being built and lives are being transformed. None of what we do would be possible without God's blessing."
In addition to building the new homes, Food For The Poor teams in Haiti have:
- Built six new gear sheds and repaired 11 others in the fishing villages. Six new fishing villages opened, including five in the region impacted most by Matthew. A total of 43 fishing villages now are operating in Haiti, allowing deep sea fishermen access to larger fish, a source of food and income.
- Drilled a total of 60 wells and installed five emergency water treatment systems to provide clean drinking water, all of which have been converted into permanent systems. Each system is capable of purifying 10,000 gallons of clean water each day and reducing waterborne diseases.
- Repaired two schools. Smaller fixes were made to the roof of a third school damaged by a fallen tree. This school served as a shelter for residents during the storm.
- Repaired three community centers and installed new metal roofs.
- Built a new orphanage and school to replace one that was destroyed during the hurricane. Repaired five other orphanages, including dormitories and new kitchens.
"No words would ever be enough to express my gratitude toward the donors," said Pasteur Renaud Clotaire, the head of the orphanage. "We will be able to have celebrations that will bring the children closer to each other."
Hurricane Matthew hit on Oct. 4, 2016, killing hundreds of people, wiping out crops and livestock and escalating a cholera outbreak. Just two weeks before the harvest, the storm destroyed all of the gardens and fruit orchards in the affected area. Goats and chickens that people relied on for protein and income were drowned or washed away by floods. Beehives were crushed when trees fell on them.
In the past year, the charity's donors have:
- Built nine new chicken coops and provided 6,600 new chickens.
- Established 200 new bee hives and provided training for 30 new beekeepers.
- Provided more than 400 goats and built five new grazing areas.
- Provided 3,000 seedlings for fruit trees, 900 bags of black bean seeds, 1,080 bags of corn and vegetable seeds, 15 bags of papaya seeds, 900 cuttings of cassava and sweet potatoes and 300 bags of pigeon peas.
"With the help of our generous donors and trusted partners, the lives of thousands are being impacted in a positive way," said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor's Executive Director.
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. This 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. Over the last 10 years, fundraising and other administrative costs averaged less than 5% of our expenses; more than 95% of all donations went directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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