Crops were wiped out in Jacmel, Haiti. (Image courtesy of BBC)
Haiti (MNN) ― While Hurricane Sandy certainly rocked the United States East Coast, the storm's impact on Haiti made a bad situation even worse. Add the Haitian government's inability to respond, and Haiti has a dire crisis on their hands.
"Our government is really helping and responding to people who are impacted here in the United States, and they need to be helped," said Global Aid Network VP of Relief and Development, Scott Hendrix.
"But there's no one there for Haiti."
Hendrix says relief groups like GAIN USA are responding. By the grace of God, the ministry was able to "hit the ground running" with food aid.
"The Lord prompted us to preposition some food in Haiti: a container of food, which is about 43,000 pounds," Hendrix said. "It had arrived 3 weeks earlier--before Sandy hit, so that food has already been distributed to families."
Amid the nation's dire poverty, food has consistently been an urgent need. Earlier this month, rioters took to the streets protesting high food prices. Even though Sandy didn't directly hit Haiti, food prices are still expected to soar to new heights.
In Jacmel--the region GAIN USA serves, storm waters caused the river to raise 20 feet, submerging coconut, plantain, and banana fields.
"These peasant farmers, that's what they live on," explains Hendrix. "But in-between the time when they can start growing their crop again and begin to get income, they need someone to help them stand in the gap. That's what Global Aid Network wants to do."
Hendrix said GAIN USA partners with the Calvary Church in Jacmel. Their pastor is looking to help people near and far.
"He's looking at the people who are in most need," said Hendrix. "Not only the people in Jacmel, but he's looking at other communities within an hour or two where the government has asked him to help because these people are in desperate need."
Many people don't realize the impact a disaster can have on third-world countries like Haiti, noted Hendrix.
"When there was an earthquake in Haiti, a 7.1, 230,000 people died from it," he recalled. In "an earthquake the same size in San Francisco in 1989, only 68 people died.
"This is really the opportunity for Christians to get involved."
You can give to GAIN USA's Disaster Relief program by clicking here.
"We see the pictures on the news here in the United States, and you see what's happened in New York and New Jersey," said Hendrix. "The people in Haiti need help, too.
"They're not asking for us to continue feeding them. What they're asking us to do is stand in the gap in-between while they can get their crops back up and growing."