Heart to Heart International sends more help to Haiti

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As the death toll in Haiti continues to rise, Heart to Heart International is sending another team to the impacted area.

Its advance team is already in Haiti assessing Matthew's impact, but more help left from KCI at 6:15 a.m., Monday.

The official death toll in Haiti from the Central Civil Protection Agency is 336, but authorities believe the actual numbers are much higher.

The  group heading to Haiti Monday will bring updated medicine and supplies to create safe drinking water.

Haiti's southwestern peninsula is one of the most isolated parts of the country and hardest hit by the hurricane. An aerial view gives a sense of of the scale of the damage there.

Six years ago, the region was left largely untouched by the earthquake that shattered the Haitian capital.

This time, the residents were not so lucky.

People living in Port Salut cleaned much of the debris off the roads after the storm, but at night they sleep outside, in the dark. Mangled electrical wires dot the landscape.

Raoul Roa, a Port Salut resident, said he does not know when electricity would be back up again. He said his house was broken down and everything he had was gone.

People say they have had to wait days for emergency medical care.

UN officials said the hurricane is the country's worst humanitarian crisis since the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000.

The focus now is getting aid to the people who were affected, especially food and water.

There are warnings this could worsen the nation's cholera epidemic, which killed at least 10,000 people after the 2010 earthquake.

"Cholera is the biggest problem right now," Fourcand said. "We need clean water, the water here is so dirty."

An estimated 500,000 children live in the areas worst hit by Hurricane Matthew, UNICEF said. UNICEF representative in Haiti Marc Vincent said they are "still far from having a full picture of the extent of the damage," as they "are hoping for the best, but bracing for the worst."

The U.S. State Department warned citizen travelers of "serious problems concerning emergency response/medical care infrastructure and crime in Haiti," in a statement released Friday.

"Food insecurity is going to be a serious, serious problem" warned Joseph Alliance of the aid group Action Aid. "In terms of economic impact, agriculture is wiped away, 95% destroyed," he added. "The livelihoods of the people right now doesn't exist."

Heart to Heart International also has staff traveling to Cuba this week, and currently has a medical mobile unit heading to the east coast.

The organization says they're in need of donations. Click here if you'd like to contribute.

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