Haiti Hurricane Response

People waiting to collect water from an Oxfam water truck. An estimated 750,000 people require safe water. Credit: Guillaume Internoscia/Oxfam
People waiting to collect water from an Oxfam water truck. An estimated 750,000 people require safe water. Credit: Guillaume Internoscia/Oxfam

Our teams are distributing clean water, fixing water supplies and providing emergency food in Haiti, after Hurricane Matthew swept through the Caribbean on October 4th. Tens of thousands of people have lost their homes and livelihoods and need urgent support. Your donation will help us reach them.

Hurricane Matthew was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the Caribbean region and has caused the biggest humanitarian emergency in Haiti since the earthquake six years ago. 1.4 million people need humanitarian assistance, particularly those living in the southern peninsula of the country, where 80 per cent of the population relies on subsistence agriculture to feed their families and make a living. The storm damaged 80 per cent of crops, drowned animals and destroyed farms.  

According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) more than 800,000 people are at an extreme level of food insecurity, and 750,000 people lack access to safe water for drinking, cooking, and washing.

Before Matthew, rural populations were already struggling to cope with a severe drought brought on by El Nino that devastated crops. Matthew struck as farmers were getting ready to harvest the little they had managed to produce.

The lack of housing is a major problem. There are currently about 11,300 people sheltering in school buildings, leaving an estimated 16,000 students without access to education (OCHA). Many people are still living in damaged homes.

Oxfam’s response

So far, Oxfam has reached over 76,000 people with life-saving aid during the Matthew response.

Our priority has been to ensure that the affected populations are safe. We are working in the departments of Grande-Anse, Sud, Anse-Rouge, as well as in slums such as Cité-Soleil in the capital of Port-Au-Prince, providing  shelter, clean water and emergency food, as well as better sanitation to prevent and stop the spread of cholera and other waterborne diseases. Oxfam’s team in the field has also trained community volunteers in the affected areas on water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion, as well as on protection, access to credit, and disaster and risk management.

The overall goal of our response is to contribute to saving the lives of women, men and children in the most vulnerable communities, to provide support for mid-term recovery and to help people to prepare themselves to face future natural threats.

 

Updated: 03 January 2017