More than 1,000 have been reported dead since Hurricane Mathew struck Haiti on October 4, 2016, according to a recent article published by Reuters. With winds as strong as 230 km/hour, the hurricane was classified as a category 4 on the international scale. The current death toll, as released by the Haitian government and local authorities, continues to grow as rescue teams have not yet reached all affected areas. Haiti has been the most severely affected by Hurricane Mathew, the strongest to hit the Caribbean in the last decade. Nearly 30,000 Haitians are in temporary housing facilities, while another 10,000 remain without shelter.
It is estimated that the total damages, both to Haitians and their homes, have left more than 60,000 displaced. Authorities are currently prioritizing the hardest hit communities, in order to prevent the possibility of a cholera outbreak similar to that which followed the 2010 earthquake.
Producer organizations are also suffering from the hurricane. Five organizations, representing 50% of Haiti’s National Fairtrade Platform called KOSEA, are located in the country’s most affected region. More than 6,000 members have lost their homes, harvests, and animals; fortunately, no human lives have been lost.
APCAB and COOPCAB, two coffee organizations in the southeast region of Haiti, were moderately affected. Fruit (bananas, avocadoes, citrus) harvests were lost, in addition to part of October’s coffee harvest. There was also damage to coffee processing facilities.
Organizations that experienced severe damages include ASPVEFS (mango), CACVA (coffee), and CAUD (cocoa), all located in the southwest region. 85% of roofs were damaged or lost due to high winds, and 70% of all producers are in temporary housing facilities, many lacking basic needs and safety. In the Caribbean, hurricane season extends through November, leaving Haitians at risk for other tropical storms.
In solidarity with Haitian communities, CLAC is making a call to action, to support the producer organizations that have suffered losses from Hurricane Matthew. When faced with humanitarian crises such as this, it is important to act as quickly as possible. In the short term, there is an urgent need for water, food, clothing, medication, personal hygiene items, and building materials. However, more support will be required to rebuild and repair homes, and manage crop damage.
Although we cannot control natural disasters, we can take action to support those affected. If you are able, please make a donation to CLAC using the below account information. All proceeds will go directly to the fair trade producer organizations affected by the hurricane in Haiti. Once you make a donation, please send a copy of the transaction to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing. CLAC will provide an audited report regarding the use of the resources.
Name: Banco Popular de Puerto Rico
Address: 1500 Ave. Ponce De Leon 2do Piso Pda. 22
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00909
Organization: CLAC – FONDOS PROPIOS
Account #: 004057546
Address: Avenida El Boquerón y Calle Ayagualo, No M1-A, Ciudad Merliot, La Libertad, El Salvador.
Telephone: 503 2278-4635, 503 2124-4376