Hurricane Matthew Save the Children Moving Quickly to Help Children and Families Impacted by Hurricane Matthew Save the Children’s humanitarian staff are responding in Haiti, Cuba and parts of the United States to alleviate the most urgent needs of children and families overwhelmed by Hurricane Matthew. The Category 4 storm was the most powerful hurricane to strike Haiti in over 50 years, causing life-threatening flooding, extensive damage, and claiming hundreds of lives. In Haiti, an estimated 25 percent of the country has been affected by Hurricane Matthew. Approximately 800 people have been killed, and thousands of homes, schools and healthcare facilities were damaged or destroyed. The health, education and protection needs are massive, with an estimated 1.4 million people requiring urgent assistance, more than 500,000 of them children. Save the Children is on the ground, working to help the children and families affected by the storm. Our response is centred in 9 communes (areas) of Haiti, and our goal is to ensure children have shelter, use appropriate sanitation and hygiene services, have potable water, have access to healthcare, return to school, are not at risk of malnutrition, and are protected from violence, so as to effectively recover from the disaster. In some of the affected areas, up to 80% of houses are considered destroyed or damaged. Some assessments of crops indicate a complete loss of certain key crop products. Cholera cases are increasing daily, there is a general lack of clean water leaving children and families at risk of infection, disease and malnutrition. Part of Save the Children’s emergency response includes setting up Child Friendly Spaces in appropriate locations, which will provide children with a safe and protected space where they receive support from trained staff and can play with other children, giving parents an opportunity to assess damage and deal with the aftermath of the hurricane. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and is still struggling to recover from the devastating earthquake it experienced in 2010. Before the impact of Hurricane Matthew it was struggling with massive gaps in its basic public services, with large percentages of the population living below the international poverty line. To support Save the Children’s work to assist children and families impacted by this catastrophic storm, please click here.