UCC Hurricane Matthew Response

UCC Hurricane Matthew Response

Among post-Matthew repairs is a new roof for the Pestel public high school in Haiti's Grand'Anse Department. "Before" photo by Margot de Greef, "after" photo by Amost Saint Louis / OWHA

Disaster by the Numbers:

Haiti (OCHA Report: 11/13/2016)

Hurricane Matthew, the first Category 4 storm to strike Haiti since 1964, has caused extensive damage.

  • As many as 1,000 deaths, 438 injuries and 128 missing people reported
  • of the 1.4 million people who require humanitarian assistance, 806,000 people need food assistance urgently. Some 465,565 of them have received food assistance since the hurricane struck
  • 141,493 displaced people are living in 204 temporary shelters. Those families temporarily sheltered in schools have come under increased pressure by local authorities to vacate the premises to allow for the resumption of schooling
  • 750,000 people will need life-saving assistance in the next two-and-a-half months
  • 540,000 women of reproductive age in the affected areas need protection
  • more than 3,700 cholera cases are suspected, including 1,065 in Sud and 752 in Grand'Anse Departments. A cholera vaccination campaign targeting 820,000 people in 16 communes in Grand’Anse and Sud started on 8 November and will last for a week.
  • 733 out of 17,828 schools in the affected areas are damaged or destroyed, leaving 116,000 children out of school.
  • 900,000 people are expected to need vaccinations in the most affected areas
  • 894,057 children are among the 2.1 million affected people
  • 13,650 women will give birth in next three months in the areas affected by the hurricane and 15 per cent are expected to have birth complications
  • An increase in suspected malaria cases has been observed over the last few days in Les Cayes, Les Anglais, Port-à-Piment and PortSalut, Abricots, Jérémie, Roseaux, Anse d’Hainault, Dame Marie, and Corail.


Hurricane Matthew also hit the eastern coast of Cuba on October 4, where it remained for 8 hours with winds of 155 mph, causing severe damage in the provinces of Guantánamo and Holguin.

A delegation from the Christian Center Lavastida visited the municipalities of Baracoa, Maisi and San Antonio del Sur October 8-10, 2016, and reported the following damage:

  • To the environment: Severe effects on the marine ecosystems of the coast, and the alluvial net, loss of forests and their biodiversity.
  • Up to 90 percent of buildings damaged, mainly loss of roofs and collapse of walls. 90 percent of schools damaged. Also damaged: drugstores, cafeterias, grocery stores, medical facilities.
  • Fountains of potable water severely contaminated because of flooding and tidal waves.
  • Total loss of electrical and communications systems.
  • Economic: The cocoa and coffee harvest completely lost, the chocolate and coconut oil industry damaged; vegetables, fruits swept away.
  • Social: Severe psychological trauma (depression, aggressiveness, alienation).
  • Epidemiological: Because of so much debris and garbage accumulated and the contamination of water supplies, epidemics can easily emerge. 

Dominican Republic

Hurricane Matthew also hit the Dominican Republic on October 4 as a Category 4 storm.

  • 4 deaths
  • 22,745 people evacuated
  • 2,398 homes damaged
  • The heavy rains caused rivers to overflow, widespread floods and landslides, and destruction of agricultural crops, houses, bridges, and basic services facilities like electricity, communication, and drinking water
  • Risk of diseases due to large amounts of mud and contamination from poor sanitary conditions left by the hurricane in the overcrowded locations where people remain in shelters.

United States

Hurricane Matthew affected the Southeastern coastal regions of the United States, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

  • More than 44,000 families have registered for FEMA assistance in North Carolina
  • More than 20,000 families have registered for FEMA assistance in Florida



UCC Disaster Ministries Responds by the Numbers:

  • $76,000 sent for relief and recovery work in Haiti, starting with seed distribution, so that farmers will not lose the next planting season having lost the current harvest. Construction materials have been delivered to 9 families and a public high school with 300 students in Grand Anse. Water purification tablets have been distributed to 13 families and a public high school.  Also on the schedule in the Northwest: repair of 30 houses and 2 cooperative offices and building of 5 latrines.
  • $5,000 sent for relief and recovery work in Cuba
  • $8,000 allocated to relief and recovery work in the United States
  • 1,000 CWS Cleanup Buckets sent to North Carolina (pictured, right)
  • UCC contributes annually to ACT Alliance's Rapid Response fund which is providing humanitarian assistance (food rations, basic household items, health care, and community sanitation) in the Dominican Republic

How You Can Help

GIVE generously to support emergency relief and rebuilding efforts by clicking on the link to make a secure online donation. Gifts may also be made at your local UCC congregation marked for “Hurricane Matthew” with the request they be sent through your Conference office or to Wider Church Ministries. Donations may also be made out and sent directly to Wider Church Ministries, Financial Services - 6th Floor, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.




Hurricane Matthew News

February 9, 2017

Disaster Ministries' support continues for Haiti's Hurricane Matthew recovery

December 7, 2016

UCC helping Haiti, Cuba, U.S. begin Hurricane Matthew recovery

November 16, 2016

UCC deploys Yungclas, Tosh to help Hurricane Matthew recovery in Florida

October 24, 2016

Receding flood waters reveal heavy hurricane toll in North Carolina

October 12, 2016

UCC Matthew Response, from Caribbean to Carolinas

East Coast Cleans Up After Hurricane Matthew, UCC Donations for Long-Term Relief

October 10, 2016

UCC Disaster Ministries, Disciples issue joint Hurricane Matthew appeal

October 5, 2016

UCC Disaster Ministries Tracking Hurricane Matthew