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Haiti After Matthew: 'Much Worse' Than a Crisis

Hurricane has 'completely destroyed' some areas; aid is finally started to arrive
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 12, 2016 12:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Food, water, and building supplies began to reach remote corners of Haiti on Wednesday as tens of thousands of people slowly rebuilt their lives after Hurricane Matthew hit as a devastating Category 4 storm last week. In the southern seaside community of Les Cayes, a UN truck delivered water to the Sous Roche neighborhood while residents including 49-year-old fisherman Justin Cambry stood in line. The delivery marked the first time the neighborhood had received any help since the storm hit on Oct. 4. "Life is completely destroyed here," Cambry tells the AP. "It will take 20 years to get it all back."

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Those who survived the storm have faced great challenges, including going days without food. An agronomist for the Department of Agriculture in southern Haiti notes that between 80% and 100% of crops have been lost across the southern peninsula. "Crisis is not the word to describe it," he says. "You need a stronger word. It is much worse. There is no food for people to eat." The UN has called for $120 million in aid, noting that about 750,000 people in southwest Haiti alone will need "life-saving assistance and protection" in the next three months. Officials in the capital say the death toll stands at 473, though local officials say it is much higher. (Read more Haiti stories.)

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