October 10, 2016:    The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has moved quickly to respond to the enormous damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, but faces a massive challenge.

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, the Haiti death toll has reached almost 900. ADRA is reporting that an additional 350,000 people in the impoverished nation are in need of medical attention and basic necessities. Reports of cholera have begun to appear and transportation routes to some of the worst-hit areas are badly damaged.

Distribution of food, water purification technology and hygiene essentials was prioritized in ADRA’s immediate response to the devastation. On its Web site ADRA.org, the agency cites prevention of cholera and other water-borne diseases as a huge and immediate challenge.

The organization has partnered with the disaster relief agency GlobalMedic to provide survivors access to drinking water, including water purification devices and tablets, as well as family emergency kits with basic essentials.

United Nations officials say Hurricane Matthew is Haiti’s worst humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake that killed at least 10,000 people. Even before the hurricane struck, because of unfinished projects from the earthquake tens of thousands were living in tents and makeshift housing with thousands dead from cholera. Shelters are filled beyond capacity and officials estimate that millions are in need of aid, according to the Cable News Network (CNN).

ADRA Haiti staff stated that the recovery effort is just beginning. Monetary assistance is needed to finance the ongoing emergency relief efforts in the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. To give, visit https://adra.org/emergency-donation/

The feature photo with this story shows some of the damaged buildings in Jacmel, Haiti, from the 2010 earthquake, one of the worst on record. It was taken by Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock, USAF, and is in the public domain.