Haiti – Restoring lives after Hurricane Isaac

The effects of Isaac

Tropical Storm Isaac swept through Haiti at the end of August, flooding homes and damaging the livelihoods of many communities where Food for the Hungry (FH) is operational. In the days following the storm, FH staff in Haiti visited affected communities to assess the damage and to determine how FH could best support families as they began to rebuild what was lost. Upon arrival to these communities, FH staff members were encouraged to see the initiatives that were already underway, as neighbors helped each other with rebuilding damaged homes and cleaning up debris, among other things. As FH staff met with communities, they found that many families (including several families whose children participate in FH’s child sponsorship program) lost their goats in the storm, which served as their main source of livelihood. Many of the families could not afford to replenish their stock, and requested that FH support them in doing so.

Haitians stand next to three goats

Consulting with local leaders

In response, FH worked together with the communities to select beneficiaries and determine the best method for distributing the goats. In order to ensure that the most vulnerable would benefit from the distribution, FH staff met with the local authorities to agree on the criteria to select the neediest families. In addition, a procurement committee was formed for each community, composed of three people chosen from among the beneficiaries. The committee members were invited to attend a livestock market day to select the goats and to represent the interest of their communities. In order to help mitigate loss of livestock in future storms, FH also requested that those who received the goats build a protective shelter for their animals. Thus far, 49 goats have been distributed and FH plans to continue the distribution program focusing on the neediest families.

Looking to the future

The community members expressed their thankfulness for FH’s support in rebuilding their livelihoods, which they considered significant for their future. With the protective shelters that they built themselves, they are hopeful that their goats can be protected when the next storm hits.

See more of what FH is doing in Haiti on our website -> FH in Haiti


About Martin

Emergency Response Unit, FH. Based in Buckinghamshire, UK and formerly a mechanical engineer with BP. Attends parish church of St. James, Gerrard's Cross.

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