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MercyCorps Helping Haiti Recover From Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew has carved a trail of devastation across southern Haiti, killing more than 800 people. Oregon-based MercyCorps is there.

Speaking from her office in Port-au-Prince, MercyCorps Haitian director Jessica Pearl says farmers were badly hit by the storm.

“The banana trees have just been broken in half essentially," she said. Pearl says soil has washed away and the crops aren't able to be recovered.

Pearl said staff are busy gauging the extent of the damage and delivering supplies, “So these include things like kitchen sets, hygiene items, soap, which is very important because of the risk of cholera. And water, which is obviously an essential item.”

Before the hurricane, she said MercyCorps was helping farmers and young entrepreneurs start new businesses.

Now they’re going to be focusing on shelter repair and helping farmers replant.

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Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.