Caribbean Celebs Weigh In As Haiti Grapples With Aftermath Of Hurricane Matthew

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A young boy looks at a flooding river, in a neighborhood of the commune of Cite Soleil, in the Haitian Capital Port-au-Prince, on October 4, 2016. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
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A young boy looks at a flooding river, in a neighborhood of the commune of Cite Soleil, in the Haitian Capital Port-au-Prince, on October 4, 2016. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Oct. 5, 2016: Caribbean celebrities late yesterday took to Twitter to weigh in on the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew – which made landfall in the western part of the Caribbean nation at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, Oct. 4, 2016 dumping several inches of rain and creating serious flooding including in Les Cayes.

“Let’s be strong together for Haiti,” tweeted actor Jimmy Jean-Louis as he shared photos of Haitian families wading through flooded streets, waist deep in water.

“My prayers for my people in Haiti and the whole Caribbean,” singer Wyclef Jean tweeted.

Bajan star Rihanna tweeted: “My heart absolutely breaks for Haiti!!! Prayers up for my brothers and sisters who’ve fallen victim to this tragic event!”

Actress Garcelle Beauvais for her part urged people to “Plz donate for #HaitiMatthew.”

Their comments come as the damage in Haiti seemed especially brutal in southern Haiti with heavy rain and wind that caused downed treesm turned streets into rivers of water leaving many wading through waist deep water and put 10,000 in shelters before moving on to Cuba.

And as the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are mobilizing resources to aid the people of Haiti.

“Our priority is to support the governments’ interventions to save lives and meet the food needs of the most vulnerable and food insecure people affected,” said Miguel Barreto, WFP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, who added that the agency is mobilizing its emergency staff and resources to deploy in the wake of the storm.

In addition, WFP has arranged enough food supplies to feed 300,000 people for a month. Valuable stockpiles have been allocated to primary locations, with a prompt access to remote areas if needed.

For its part, along with food supplies, UNICEF is also preparing life-saving aid for 10,000 people in Haiti.

Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti, described the hurricane as “the worst storm Haiti has seen in decades.” He also expressed concerns regarding access to enough safe water and the high risk of water-borne diseases in children.

According to UNICEF, less than 20 per cent of people in Haiti have access to proper sanitation, while almost half of the population utilizes unsafe water resources. Such unsanitary conditions and water damage might increase the number of cholera cases in the region.  Eleven people have so far died from the storm in the Caribbean.

Marjorie Lozama of the Haitian American nurses association is already leading the effort to get medication and supplies to treat wounds in Haiti.  The group is looking for pain relievers, antibiotic pills and ointment, wound care supplies, pedialite, baby formula and gently worn clothes for Haitians who are likely to be impacted by Matthew.  If you’d like to help you can call 305-912-1757.