Many Haitians aren’t strangers to hunger. Crisis after crisis has plunged the country deep into poverty, leaving one in three Haitians malnourished and unable to buy enough food. Lack of rain in the last five years caused a food shortage in Haiti and made food items unaffordable for many. Then political unrest paralyzed the economy for more than a year. Now the coronavirus pandemic hit the country.
Haiti is ill equipped to handle a pandemic of this magnitude. A national staff member said, “I’m discovering every day how bad the situation is and how rapidly it’s worsening, especially the hunger.” He shared of one woman who could barely talk because she was weak from not eating.
CAM has been providing food aid to vulnerable families affected by the food shortage in Haiti. Our national staff and volunteers divide the bulgur, rice, corn, and other food to help it reach around to recipients at distribution sites. “We can scratch the surface only,” our staff member shared. “There is need for more.”
“This is a miracle. You don’t know what you’ve done.”
One evening, our staff member felt compelled to share some of his leftover food with a needy family and asked his friend to drop off the food. His friend discovered that the family hadn’t cooked any food all day and was planning to go to bed hungry. They shared, “This is a miracle. You don’t know what you’ve done.”
Along with the food, CAM has been providing preventative kits to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The kit includes a bucket with a faucet, a bar of soap, chlorine solution, four face masks, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. The general problem with sanitation and hygiene worsens during a crisis, but the kits provide items to encourage cleanliness.
Our projects in Haiti resulting from this pandemic will continue for months as the country tries to get back on its feet. This will also be the case for many other projects we’ve begun in response to COVID-19. Each week the requests for help continue to increase. So far we’ve received requests from around thirty countries.