Christian Aid appeal for Haiti emergency
Norfolk Christian Aid co-ordinator Julian Bryant describes the current situation in Haiti as the death toll rises after last week’s hurricane.
Just six months ago I was putting up an exhibition in Norwich Cathedral about how progress had been made since the devastating earthquake in 2010. Now we see another disaster which has hit people living in Haiti.
Reports from our colleagues in Haiti say that thousands have lost their homes, corn and banana crops have been flattened, and livestock have been swept away. The death toll is still rising as emergency workers slowly start to gain access to remote areas that have been cut off by the storm. The southwest of the country has been hit hardest, with flooding there described as 'truly catastrophic'. Prospery Raymond, our country manager for Haiti and Dominican Republic, said people will need a lot of support to recover.
'They need essential items such as hygiene kits and blankets, cash and materials to rebuild their homes, as well as seeds and livestock.'
Our partners are already responding in this very challenging situation. They helped evacuate people to shelters as Hurricane Matthew approached, and made sure that the shelters were stocked with food over the weekend. The storm proof homes that our supporters donated to and which were built after the earthquake in 2010 are still standing. Immediate response and longer term investment is desperately needed.
Now they're assessing the damage the storm has caused and working out how best to help people. At this stage, donations will help provide cash and vouchers, shelter and water.
For more about the appeal, please visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk/emergencies/hurricane-matthew-appeal.
If you are able to hold a collection for the appeal, please send it to the local office at the address below, and let us know if you will need any donation envelopes.
Finally, we have prayers written following natural disasters which could be used. I have also adapted a prayer written in response to Typhoon Haiyan:
This is an awe inspiring planet,
wonderfully but fearfully made.
In Hurricane Matthew we see again
the vulnerability of humanity
to the full force of nature’s energy.
We pray for all those affected:
Those who have lost loved ones,
Those whose crops and livelihoods are destroyed,
Those who need shelter, water, food, sanitation and medicine.
Those at risk of disease.
We pray for the emergency response teams:
For safety and strength as they assess the damage,
For communication lines to be restored,
For a quick and effective response to their findings,
For the resources required to be made available.
We pray for the long term recovery and resilience work:
That the growing intensity of storms would not be ignored,
That this vulnerable nation would not carry the challenge of climate change alone,
That the international community would respond with generosity and with justice.
Norfolk Regional Coordinator
Phone: 01603 620051
Address: The King’s Centre, King Street, Norwich NR1 1PH.
Pictured: A church in Haiti before and after the hurricane