Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: ActionAid's response

Friday, October 7, 2016 - 12:11

Hurricane Matthew has destroyed homes and schools in Haiti. Conditions in evacuation shelters are very poor in some of the worst affected areas. There is no water, electricity and very little food. There is flooding across the country, roads are blocked and at least one major bridge has collapsed. The storm has now moved on leaving over half a million women, children and men in Haiti in urgent need of food, clean drinking water and safe shelter.

ActionAid is already providing emergency food and water to people evacuated from their homes including Grand Anse in the West which is entirely cut off and where people are in urgent need of aid. We are in the emergency shelters working with those most at risk.

File 35641An ActionAid supported School destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Petit Goave, Haiti

Our team in Haiti are now seriously concerned about the risk of cholera. With reports of widespread flooding and little clean drinking water in many areas, cholera and other serious water-borne diseases are a serious threat.

The people in Haiti are extremely generous, courageous and resilient. In the midst of the devastation of the earthquake in 2010 I saw deeply affected people helping others in a beautiful way.

Haitians have also built strong people-led organisations to claim their rights, including the peasants movement MPP and organizations Krose and Cozpam. I am proud that they are our partners and I am sure that once again they will come together with us to ensure that the disaster response will prioritise women, be accountable and count on the rootedness and expertise of local people and organisations.

Because ActionAid was already working in Haiti in when the earthquake happened, we were quick to respond, working with our local partners and affected communities to provide life-saving support – food, water and plastic sheeting for shelter – to tens of thousands of people in camps in and around Port-au-Prince.

File 35642

Photo: Three ActionAid sponsored children in Petit-Goave stand next to what remains of their home after it was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew

We launched an international fundraising appeal that raised an astonishing $13 million for our three year response to the disaster. These funds have enabled us to support more than 200,000 people in and around Port-au-Prince, as well as areas further afield, to start rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

Since that time, the country has faced numerous other challenges, including a cholera outbreak, the impact of subsequent disasters including Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and most recently a drought related to the El Niño weather pattern.

On my most recent trip to Haiti a few weeks ago I met families that were displaced after 2010, but came together and with the peasants movement support, got fully resettled in highly productive organic agro-villages and got their children back to school.

You can help ActionAid work with Haitian organisations to once again empower the most vulnerable to rebuild their lives. Please give to our Emergency Appeal to support people affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti.