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Is Haiti The Next Refugee Crisis? Country Could Have ‘Real Famine’ After Hurricane

REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Haitian interim President Jocelerme Privert is warning that his country could have a “real famine” after Hurricane Matthew, according to reports.

Privert predicts that his homeland will be suffering from a famine in three to four months time unless Haiti receives assistance from the international community, reports BBC News. Hurricane Matthew hit the Caribbean island nation Oct. 4 (the other half of the island is home to the Dominican Republic) when it was still a Category 4 storm .

The storm left over 60,000 Haitians homeless, destroying entire villages and towns. At least 473 people died in Haiti as a result of the strength of the destructive hurricane.

“The concern is if we don’t take action now for the longer impact … three to four months when the foods stop coming we are going to have a real famine,” Privert said, according to BBC News. The scale of the destruction left in Hurricane Matthew’s wake is “amazing,” says Privert.

Fighting cholera is now becoming a major priority for Haiti after Hurricane Matthew managed to make rivers overflow and wreak havoc on the country’s sewage system. At least 200 cases of cholera were reported in Haiti after the storm. The World Health Organization (WHO) is, therefore, promising to ship 1 million doses of a life-saving cholera vaccine to stop the spread of the water-borne illness.

Much of Haiti’s livestock was killed or injured due to Hurricane Matthew and many crops are ruined. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The troubled former French colony is still rebuilding and recovering from the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake back in January 2010.

Hurricane Matthew made landfall in the U.S. Oct. 7 along Florida’s eastern coast. Later on the same day that it hit U.S. shores, Hurricane Matthew weakened to a Category 2 storm.

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