Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, was struck by Hurricane Matthew on 4 October 2016, resulting in a catastrophic humanitarian emergency. At the time of the hurricane, the country was still slowly working to recover from the 2010 earthquake. The hurricane brought extensive flooding and mudslides, damage to road infrastructure and buildings, as well as electricity and water shortages. As of late October, Haiti’s Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) confirmed well over 500 deaths, hundreds of severe injuries, and outbreaks of cholera.*
WHAT WE DO
Emergency Relief – Medair was on the ground in Haiti within 48 hours of the hurricane. Teams are providing life-saving support in the southwest region of the country, focusing on the remote and isolated commune of Tiburon, where the hurricane not only destroyed 85 – 95 % of homes, but also damaged most of the existing gravity-fed water systems, so that the population is now drawing water from contaminated wells and from the river streams.
Shelter Support - Medair staff are distributing shelter kits (including a tarp, and rope) to approximately 1,100 households, prioritising households in small villages. Soon after, Medair will scale up distributions to reach every family in desperate need of help with additional shelter items such as repair toolkits. Teams are also providing training and hands-on assistance to communities on the best use of these relief items in order to ensure as many families as possible have a safe, dry space to sleep at night.
WASH Support - Medair staff are working to restore water points in the most vulnerable villages, as well as distributing approximately 1,100 hygiene kits in the same villages where shelter support is offered. The hygiene kits contain everything a family needs to stay clean and healthy for a month and to avoid getting sick from waterborne diseases and cholera. Teams are providing training on the correct use of Aquatabs and water filters as well, as these items will be distributed in the coming days.
*UNOCHA website, 21 Oct 2016