Now that regular communication with Dr. Wolf has been restored, we are learning of the full extent of the devastation from Hurricane Matthew and what assistance is most needed. Dr. Wolf explained that better than 95% of homes between Jérémie and Gatineau had tin roofs. Virtually all of those roofs were blown off and any household belongs within were largely destroyed by the ferocious wind and torrential rain. In many cases, the walls of the homes then collapsed as well. Thousands of people are now without shelter. In Gatineau, hundreds had gathered on the porch of our clinic to take shelter during the storm and have remained there since, their homes now gone.
The primary immediate needs are for temporary shelter and food. We are looking to procure large durable tarps to serve as temporary roofing for the homes that are still standing. Because we need these urgently, Dr. Wolf plans to make a trip into Port au Prince to procure tarps and supplies there. Any donations received here will go directly and completely to this effort. For those concerned about how their donation will be used, rest assured that 100% will go to helping the people affected by the hurricane. Any overhead costs for our organization have already been funded by our regular donors, so please don’t be held back by the fear that your money will not be well spent. If you want more information about that, please reach out to us and we can provide you with the details.
We will also be looking to partner with other well established relief distribution organizations to help us get supplies from the U.S. shipped quickly to Haiti. We then hope to facilitate the local distribution of these supplies in and around Jérémie and the clinic to prevent that from becoming a corrupted process. Since Dr. Wolf and Cherlie have lived there for many years and we have a network of local community members we already employ, we are fortunate to have the network to get the supplies delivered securely to those in need. As is often the case, a key concern is rampant looting. While people have fled their destroyed homes, others are looting them and taking anything of value that remains. So reestablishing these homes quickly as safe shelter is critical to prevent the theft of what little they still have.
There is more to come, but for now please know that we are already taking action on the ground in Haiti to help those in need. With Dr. Wolf now able to communicate regularly, we will be posting more frequent updates on the needs and our progress in delivering aid. Praise be to God for bringing good people together to help those in need.