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As the cleanup and recovery begins for residents of the Northeastern United States hit hard by the “superstorm” Sandy, families in Haiti who lost animals, crops and homes when Tropical Storm Sandy brushed the island continue to struggle for some sense of normalcy.
At least 52 people were killed, the highest toll in the storm’s path through the Caribbean, there was extensive damage to crops throughout the lower third of the country, threatening higher food prices, and there is a renewed risk of and concern over cholera.
Heifer Haiti project families were hard-hit, too. A total of 611 Heifer animals were lost, including 361 goats, 183 fowl and 91 sheep. There was significant crop damage, one fishing boat was lost and nearly 300 homes in project communities were damaged and another 42 destroyed.
Unlike the United States, where Sandy’s victims can look to government, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, state and local officials for help, as well as churches, community organizations and aid groups, Heifer’s Haitian project families depend on the generosity of Heifer donors to help them rebuild and recover.
Heifer International is already at work, assisting families in the immediate aftermath of the disaster with a kit of food, including rice, corn, sugar, milk, bean, flour and cooking oil. Included among the recipients is a group of handicapped individuals, many of them injured in the 2010 earthquake. Along with this short-term aid, Heifer International will continue its long-term development work in the country to make communities more resilient to natural disasters.
More assessments are needed to fully understand Sandy’s impact on Haiti and on Heifer project families, but the need is already apparent—families need help getting back on their feet, restocking livestock and replanting fields. Only through a dependable diet, income and assets can they begin to rebuild their and their family’s future—ensuring medical care against cholera, that their kids remain in school and they build back better and stronger against the next storm threat.
Heifer International has created a Disaster Management Fund just for this purpose—to provide life-supporting aid in the wake of a natural disaster or event. Families in Haiti need this help now.
Our friends and neighbors in the Northeast need and are getting help. Let’s be sure that families in Haiti have the same chance for a better future.Donate to Haiti Reconstruction through Heifer's Disaster Management Fund