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Phoenix-based charity forced to start over after Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti

A woman and a child sit on a buckets amid the ruins of their home destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, in Jeremie, Haiti, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. Almost a week after Matthew's assault, power is still out, water and food are scarce, and officials say that young men in villages along the road between the hard-hit cities of Les Cayes and Jeremie are putting up blockades of rocks and broken branches to halt convoys of vehicles bringing relief supplies. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix-based charity is facing a long road back to full operation after Hurricane Matthew left a path of destruction in Haiti.

“You’re dealing with about 13 percent of the population who will be negatively impacted by this massive storm,” Gary Edmonds, president and CEO of Food for The Hungry, said.

The charity has been working in Haiti for about 15 years. It sponsors more than 800 children and participates in other efforts focused on helping the island nation in the long term.

“Things like soil management, risk mitigation, being able to plant the right kind of crops and have the appropriate live stock to be able to be self-sustaining,” Edmonds said.

Much of that work has been erased or set back due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew.

“It’s not only trying to stabilize the situation — shelter, food, clean water,” he said. “The other major factor that we’re facing right now is water-borne diseases.”

Regardless, Food for The Hungry is moving forward and sending more people into Haiti to help.

“If people donated, that will help us to allow people to continue to move, be able to purchase the food, the water purification systems, and water purification tablets,” Edmonds said.

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