54 Haitians died in the storm and over 20 are still missing, while around 20,000 people were evacuated in areas of the south and west. Strong winds and rain have ruined more than 70% of harvests in the south of Haiti, resulting in agricultural losses of around 100 million dollars. The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) believes that up to two million Haitians may now be facing food insecurity and has appealed for 20 million dollars in funding to help those affected.
The Haitian government has also called for international emergency aid. Haiti’s prime minister, Laurent Lamothe said “I am launching an appeal to international solidarity to come and help the population.” According to initial government evaluations, the hurricane also caused 600 million dollars worth of damage to infrastructure such as roads and bridges, and destroyed 150 schools. 30 water supply systems were also affected and there is concern among officials that cholera cases could increase. Over 7,500 people have so far died in the cholera epidemic and hundreds of new cases are still being reported every week. It has been confirmed that the disease was indeed brought to the country by UN troops who were stationed in Haiti after the earthquake of 2010.
The south of Haiti had escaped the widespread destruction caused by the earthquake, only to be pummelled by Hurricane Sandy as it headed northwards. Crops were also flattened by high winds and heavy downpours, which brought more than 20 inches of rain and flooded the third largest city in Haiti, Les Cayes. The Guardian reported how other Haitians were first on the scene to help and it took at least a day for outside international workers to reach the region.
SOS Children are active in Les Cayes. Reports from Haiti say that while the recently opened community centre there was left undamaged, three out of the four schools built by SOS Children will need repairs, particularly to roofs. Further east, the SOS School, Villages and Community Centre in Santo, near Port-au-Prince, were undamaged, but many people belonging to the Family Strengthening Programme suffered losses, with some houses swept away by the raging waters of the Rivière Grise. Thankfully, no damage has been reported to any of SOS Children's programmes or facilities at Cap Haïtien in the north.