Tropical weather from Grace has only added to the complicated rescue efforts in Haiti following the massive earthquake that struck the country over the weekend.
The hardest-hit towns are about 80 miles from the capital. On a normal day, it would take about six hours to drive to those areas because of how poor the roads are.
That makes humanitarian groups already established in Haiti all that more critical right now.
“We're drawing on people from around the globe with experience to go in and help the Haitians develop their own programs for this,” said Victoria Ward, a regional director with Save the Children.
The organization has been in Haiti since the 1970s, providing the impoverished nation's youth with education, food security, and general safety. About half their work is in humanitarian disasters.
Right now, the organization is distributing emergency kits.
After the 2010 earthquake and hurricane Matthew in 2016, Ward says they learned the best aid comes from humanitarian groups. They already have logistics in place and partner with locals to help strengthen their response and resilience.
“The need to protect people and safeguard people in these situations is really important, particularly children and girls,” said Ward.
“Because the schools are gone, their pre-Ks are gone. Their, you know, any place that they were normally protected and being cared for by adults may have collapsed and the adults have other things that they have to attend to,” said Ray-ginald Louissaint Jr. with Save the Children.
Save the Children will set up child-friendly places where families can drop off kids while they find food and shelter. The children can play and get counseling.
Haiti has some of the highest child-mal-nourishment rates. Gang and political violence have also been particularly bad.
“Because trying to live in that situation where you're constantly under threat if you go to the local market and don't know if during, you know, the course of walking 10 blocks, you are going to face trying to get you're going to face a gang shootout is a very, very difficult way to live,” said Ward.
Save the Children will start distributing cash and food vouchers to locals. They say donating money online to the organization would help the most.