In previously inaccessible areas in northeast Nigeria, 80% of shelters damaged and families unable to afford food
ABUJA, NIGERIA – The global organization Mercy Corps is expanding its assistance to people in areas of northeast Nigeria previously occupied by Boko Haram and will reach more than 15,000 families by the end of the year in communities within Damboa and other locations in south Borno.
A message popped up on my phone. “Going by foot from here” it said, and attached was a photo in which a bridge had been broken apart and washed away by the swollen river, next to an overturned car.
The text was from Jasmine Avgerakis, a humanitarian response manager traveling with Mercy Corps’ emergency response team to do assessments in the southern peninsula of Haiti. The south was particularly hard hit, and getting to severely impacted parts of the country is difficult due to flooding, washed out roads and impassable bridges like this one.
“The people here have just been pushed down by one thing after another,” Jessica Pearl, Mercy Corps’ country director in Haiti, told The New York Times Tuesday as Hurricane Matthew barreled into the country.
The storm made landfall with 145-mile-per-hour winds and heavy rain, causing flooding and severe damage to homes and fields.
As the impact of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti becomes clearer, the global organization Mercy Corps is preparing an emergency response to help meet urgent needs and lay the groundwork for recovery.
Our teams are conducting assessments to better understand the full extent of damage and needs; we know already there is significant damage to infrastructure and agriculture.
“I am very worried about how I will get food,” Zouera says. “The harvest was very bad, so there is not enough food. We only have one meal a day. [The children] are always asking me for more. They are hungry.”
At just 2 years old, Zouera’s youngest, Laouratou, can’t afford to miss a meal. She is in the most vital stage of her development: the first 1,000 days of life — the period between conception and a child’s second birthday — when her body and brain are growing at a rapid pace.
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