Justice

There's a Developing Crisis in Haiti We Should Be Talking About

October 4th 2016

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

A deadly storm slammed into the Caribbean nation that's already struggling with poverty and still dealing with the aftermath of 2010's devastating earthquake. Hurricane Matthew, with winds of more than 140 miles per hour, made landfall in Haiti on Tuesday.

Hurricane Matthew has killed at least six people in Haiti and the neighboring Dominican Republic, according to the Associated Press. Two other people were killed by the storm last week in Colombia and St. Vincent.

#MatthewHaiti Les Cayes chez le Pasteur St Germain ce matin 6:30am

Posted by Radio Television Caraibes on Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and it's still recovering from the earthquake that hit the country six years ago.

The official death toll of the 7.0 earthquake was 316,000 people, and thousands more were injured. More than 1 million people lost their homes, and more than 600,000 were still displaced from the earthquake in 2015, according to CNN.

Hurricane Matthew has caused widespread flooding across the country, and officials expect the death toll and damage will only get worse.

People on Twitter shared dramatic images of the devastation.

Groups are reaching out on social media to solicit help for the people in the Caribbean.

But not every organization has a good reputation in Haiti.

A ProPublica and NPR investigation last year found that the American Red Cross raised half a billion dollars to help Haitians after the earthquake, but only built six houses.

"In a blistering 2011 memo, the then-director of the Haiti program, Judith St. Fort, wrote that the group was failing in Haiti and that senior managers had made 'very disturbing' remarks disparaging Haitian employees."

The Red Cross disputed the report and told ProPublica and NPR in statements that it had built more than six homes in Haiti and that it faced challenges after the earthquake.

"Like many humanitarian organizations responding in Haiti, the American Red Cross met complications in relation to government coordination delays, disputes over land ownership, delays at Haitian customs, challenges finding qualified staff who were in short supply and high demand, and the cholera outbreak, among other challenges."

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