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:


Hurricane Matthew, the first Category 4 storm to strike Haiti since 1964, caused extensive damage in October 2016. It left:

  • as many as 1,000 dead.
  • 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
  • 141,493 people displaced to 204 temporary shelters.
  • 733 schools damaged or destroyed.
  • 116,000 children out of school.

It caused:

  • an increase in cholera and malaria.


Hurricane Matthew also hit the eastern coast of Cuba, where it caused 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:

  • Up to 90 percent of buildings damaged.
  • Fountains of potable water severely contaminated.
  • Total loss of electrical and communications systems.
  • Complete loss of the cocoa and coffee harvest, and damage to the chocolate and coconut oil industry; vegetables and fruits swept away.
  • Severe psychological trauma (depression, aggressiveness, alienation).

Dominican Republic

Hurricane Matthew also hit the Dominican Republic on October 4 as a Category 4 storm, resulting in:

  • 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.


UCC Disaster Ministries Responds by the Numbers:

  • $186,000 sent for relief and recovery work in Haiti, including for repair of houses, schools, community buildings and other infrastructure, fortifying them against future storms and earthquakes, and for animal shelters, seed distribution and grain storage, agricultural road repair, microcredit, soil conservation and psychosocial support. 
  • $5,000 sent for relief and recovery work in Cuba.
  • 1,000 CWS Cleanup Buckets sent to North Carolina (pictured, right).
  • Deployment of long-term recovery volunteers to Florida and North Carolina to help lay the groundwork for volunteer construction work teams.
  • Volunteer work site set up in Volusia County (Daytona Beach area), Fla. Click here for information/to volunteer.
  • Seed money for long-term recovery groups in Florida and North Carolina, including $5,000 for VIND (Volusia (Florida) Interfaiths/Agencies Networking in Disaster), and $5,000 for the St. Johns and Putnam County (Florida) Long Term Recovery Organization.  North Carolina specifics TBA.
  • 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.

VOLUNTEER – A disaster recovery work site in Volusia County (Daytona Beach area), Fla., is now receiving volunteers.



Church World Service has produced a suite of materials with updates on the CWS response to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, which UCC Disaster Ministries supports. There are stories, images, graphics, maps and a video available. You can find them all – along with a usage guide – here.

Hurricane Matthew News

April 13, 2017

Hurricane Matthew recovery in Haiti continues with UCC support

April 10, 2017

Networking finds free bunk beds for disaster recovery volunteer host

March 22, 2017

St. Augustine church housing Hurricane Matthew recovery volunteers

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