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Why hasn’t there been more coverage of Hurricane Matthew and Haiti?

09 Oct 2016

The death toll is over 900.

350,000 people are in need of aid.

So why aren’t people talking about it?

The hurricane has made its most significant impact on the Caribbean nation, with many parts of the country losing up to 80 percent of its infrastructure. It is now on its way to Florida, USA, where no doubt more damage will ensue. 

It’s sadly unsurprising yet intensely infuriating, that the people of Haiti are not being given the recognition and support they deserve by the world’s media during such a tragic time. Other news items have taken precedence, ones that are easier to stomach, more “interesting” to talk about around the dinner table.

For example, Donald Trump’s offensive remarks – surprise, surprise – made about women, expressing a desire to grab them “by the pussy”. This, along with the recent leaks of Hilary Clinton’s speech transcripts made in private events by WikiLeaks, shows exactly where the American media lie regarding the horrific hurricane. Even on my Facebook newsfeed as I write this, the current trending issues involve a reality star and an American chocolate brand.

The predicted lack of coverage on the hurricane has driven people to social media platforms to express outrage and support for the country, whilst exposing the shortcomings of international organisations in helping to better Haiti.

Six years after the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the United Nations finally admitted to inadvertently contributing to the cholera outbreak in the state. A leaky pipe at the UN base caused the return of the disease, not seen in Haiti for a century until the 2010 outbreak. As a result of this, and with Haiti’s poor sewage disposal system, the disease will add to the number of fatalities in the country, with thirteen already confirmed dead. That figure is expected to rise.

The Red Cross has also been accused of failing to support and carry Haiti through the tragedies it has endured. It was revealed that the international charity, despite acquiring nearly half a billion dollars in aid after the 2010 Haitian earthquake, built a grand total of six houses for the civilian population. Issues ranging from prejudice against Haitian workers to a lack of expertise in mounting their own projects led to the Red Cross passing on tasks to other organisations and passing on the donations to them to carry them out. Promotional material published by the Red Cross in 2010 carries little weight. Bold claims of the 4.5 million Haitian’s the organisation helped was disputed by the then-prime minister of the country, as the entire population stood at roughly 10 million at the time.

Incompetency by the very organisations that exist to aid countries such as Haiti have only hindered and exploited these nations. They have repeatedly failed to provide Haiti with the means to survive not only natural disasters but also as a means to grow and prosper as a state. Hurricane Matthew will only reinforce its subordinate position on the world’s stage; a pawn only remembered in times of despair.

For those wanting to help Haiti during its time of need, you can donate to the following organisations, which are all based in the country:

Konbit Mizik

Haiti Communitere

Art Creation Foundation for Children (ACFFC)

Sakala Haiti

Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL)


Konbit Soley Leve (Rising Sun Collective)


Fondation Aquin Solidarité

Volontariat pour le Développement d’Haïti (VDH)