Over 1.24 million people have been affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. The impacts will affect hundreds of thousands of Haitians including damage to homes, infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and livelihoods. Key bridges have been destroyed, cutting southern Haiti off. Cholera outbreaks are another serious risk: there have already been reports of new outbreaks following the storm. It is estimated that 750,000 people are in need of immediate assistance.
Yolette Etienne, Director of ActionAid Haiti, says, “The storm may have passed but Haiti now faces a humanitarian crisis. In the worst affected areas, thousands of people have been forced into overcrowded emergency shelters. Many are already short of food and clean water and could run out entirely in a few days.”
ActionAid has worked in Haiti since 1997 and is currently on the ground providing basic necessities to families and communities affected by this disaster. Fortunately, we had recently undertaken preparedness activities with women leaders, so were able to quickly activate these networks.
The immediate focus of ActionAid’s response is basic needs for people in shelters, but later may also include livelihoods, protection, supporting children to go back to school and a focus on women headed households. Throughout our response, ActionAid is maintaining its strong focus on women-led responses and women’s rights, and is systematising women’s involvement in determining their needs and priorities.
We urgently need more funds to get emergency aid to the people in Haiti most affected by Hurricane Matthew.
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