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No one has been hit harder by Hurricane Matthew than Haiti. The death toll has reached nearly 900 in the country, according to the latest reports, and the government estimates around 350,000 people will need some sort of assistance. ABC says the southern part of the country has been “cut off” from the rest by floodwaters, and over 28,000 homes have so far been damaged.
While it’s tempting to want to send supplies, donating money is usually the most effective way to assist in disasters. However, one of the most popular relief organizations in the world, Red Cross, has a questionable reputation in Haiti: It reportedly collected $500 million in relief money after the devastating 2010 earthquake—and built just six homes.
Regardless, the Red Cross says it’s mounting a huge relief effort in the area, so donate here if you so choose. But many are recommending donations be made to Haitian organizations or organizations with more trusted reputations in Haiti. Here are a few:
This local organization says it’s providing relief to residents of Cité Soleil, “Port-au-Prince’s most at-risk population,” in the wake of the hurricane, and has been working in that community since the earthquake in 2010. “We are uniquely positioned to not only know and understand what those affected by the hurricane need, but to provide it quickly, efficiently, and directly,” it writes.
2) Sakala Haiti
Another organization that works in Cité Soleil, Sakala Haiti, will use donations to buy cleanup equipment for use in future storms, as well as clean water tabs to curb a possible cholera outbreak.
The ACFFC is a non-profit arts organization that provides basic needs, education, and arts instruction to children in Jacmel, Haiti. ACFFC has been using donations to provide food for the families of its students, and to get up and running again.
Short for Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods, SOIL develops and promotes ecological sanitation in Haiti, including transforming human waste into compost, and “providing sanitation to people who would otherwise have no access to a toilet and producing an endless supply of rich, organic compost critical for agriculture and reforestation.” They are sending a truck with emergency supplies to affected regions, and donations will be used to purchase additional supplies and gas.
This international organization is using donation money to collect all sorts of supplies, from food and clean water to tarps for shelter and hygiene kits. They also have staff in the Grand Anse region, which was one of the most devastated areas—and now one of the most difficult to reach.
In a blog post on its site, Dr. Daan Van Brusselen writes that the hurricane has coincided with Haiti’s “birth peak” which “ takes place about nine months after the February carnival.” He also writes, “As many other hospitals are closed due to the disaster, our hospital, which is usually only for complex cases, is now accepting all pregnant women.” You can contact Doctors Without Borders to ask that your donation be restricted to a specific project.
UNICEF says 90 cents of every dollar donated to its Hurricane Matthew relief will go directly to helping children, especially to aid in access to clean water.
Jaya Saxena is a lifestyle writer and editor whose work focuses primarily on women's issues and web culture. Her writing has appeared in GQ, ELLE, the Toast, the New Yorker, Tthe Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Racked, Eater, Catapult, and others. She is the co-author of 'Dad Magazine,' the author of 'The Book Of Lost Recipes,' and the co-author of 'Basic Witches.'