Before Sandy devastated New York, New Jersey, and other parts of the U.S., it hit Haiti, heaping new misery onto a country that has already seen far more than its share. Still recovering from 2010’s monster earthquake, the western hemisphere’s poorest country has suffered cholera outbreaks, drought, and the damage of Tropical Storm Isaac in August. Now, add Sandy’s wrath. The super storm affected an estimated 2 million people in Haiti, claiming at least 54 lives, wrecking homes, and laying waste to crops. It left 1.5 million people food insecure, with up to 450,000 at risk of severe acute malnutrition. Sandy also destroyed potable water supplies and cholera treatment facilities, leading to a spike in new cholera cases and fears of new outbreaks. Around 350,000 people who were displaced by the 2010 earthquake are still living in temporary camps. Many of these people face “a dire health and safety situation,” says the U.S. Fund’s Lisa Szarkowski, who was in Haiti during the storm. “I saw children in one of these camps struggling to walk through mud and contaminated water,” she says. “The storm disrupted life for so many people here, but it was clear that the aftermath is going to be far worse.”
Children complete a year-end final examination at Mamalu Kindergarten and Primary School in Port-au-Prince. The school, which collapsed during the earthquake, was rebuilt by UNICEF. © UNICEF/NYHQ2011-2092/Marco DorminoWorking with its partners, UNICEF is providing emergency supplies throughout Haiti—blankets, soap, plastic sheeting, school kits, and water purification tablets to prevent cholera. It is also supplying tarps and tents to damaged schools so that children can resume their studies. If you would like to help children and families in Haiti affected by Hurricane Sandy, please consider making a donation in support of UNICEF's work. Thank you for standing with children in Haiti and around the world.