After Hurricane Matthew, Here’s How to Help Haiti

As many as 1.4 million people may be without housing, food, or sanitation.
A teenager removes mud from his home damaged by Hurricane Matthew, in Jérémie, Haiti, Oct. 8. (Photo: Hector Retamal/Getty Images)
Oct 10, 2016· 2 MIN READ
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

From the mid-Atlantic states to the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew, now downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, has left a path of death and destruction in its wake. Nowhere has been more devastated than Haiti, where nearly 400 people have officially been confirmed dead, and the death toll is believed to be higher. Approximately 175,000 people are living in emergency shelters on the island, according to Haiti’s civil protection department.

The destruction from Hurricane Matthew is “the worst humanitarian crisis in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake,” Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said in a statement released Monday.

The storm, which hit Haiti last Tuesday, destroyed an estimated 80 to 90 percent of structures on the southern end of the country. The torrential rainfall and high winds that accompanied the storm have led to flooding, mudslides, collapsed roads and bridges, decimated crops, and electricity and clean water shortages.

On Friday, the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund allocated $5 million for relief. On Monday, the U.N. announced an additional $120 million fund-raising effort to aid the organization’s activities in Haiti over the next three months.

“Hundreds have died. At least 1.4 million people need assistance at this time. Some towns and villages have been almost wiped off the map. Crops and food reserves have been destroyed. At least 300 schools have been damaged,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a press conference on Monday.

Damage from Hurricane Matthew is seen from the air along the west coast of Haiti, Oct. 6. (Photo: Reuters)

As the U.N.’s agencies work with authorities in Haiti, here are some additional relief efforts that need our help:


With hundreds of schools completely or partially destroyed, along with sending medical supplies, “UNICEF is working with partners to help set up temporary learning spaces and deliver school supplies,” according to its website. Funds raised on a dedicated page for Haitian relief efforts will help rebuild schools, go toward purchase of furniture, books, and supplies, and provide counseling for children.


This nonprofit is “dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti,” according to its Facebook page. On the ground helping people in communities destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, the Port-au-Prince, Haiti, office of the organization on Saturday sent a truck of supplies south to the areas most affected. A fund-raising page is accepting donations to support locally based relief efforts.

Doctors Without Borders

On Saturday the humanitarian organization posted on its website that “four Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières teams are assessing the needs at medical facilities and affected communities.” Given the destruction of the infrastructure, the organization wrote that “the full scale and nature of the needs have yet to be determined,” but the risk of cholera is “very high.” To support efforts in Haiti, go to a donation page on the Doctors Without Borders website and then call or email the organization to earmark your donation.


“Oxfam is on the ground distributing hygiene kits and water purification tablets, repairing and installing water tanks, and providing construction material to begin rebuilding,” the organization posted on its Facebook page on Monday. It has set up a donation page to help Haiti.

A woman weeps in front of her shattered home in Morne la Source, Haiti, Oct. 9. (Patrick Farrell/Getty Images)

Food for the Poor

The Florida-based NGO is requesting support to purchase, ship, and deliver food to Haiti. In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, “the loss of life and property is a tremendous tragedy, and the starvation to follow due to the loss of crops and the extreme shortage of food could prolong this tragedy dramatically, particularly for the children,” according to Food for the Poor's Haitian relief donation page.

Save the Children

“It is critical that we support families during this time,” Kevin Novotny, Save the Children’s country director in Haiti, said in a statement on Sunday. “Children are at risk of gender based violence and placement into orphanages or long term domestic servitude if their parents are unable to provide them with food and meet other basic needs. We cannot allow this to happen.”

The Save the Children Hurricane Matthew Children’s Relief Fund is accepting donations toward the purchase of “non-food items including hygiene kits, baby items, household kits, mosquito nets and jerry cans.”