The Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

  • Posted on: 7 October 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
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1/30/2017:  After Category 4 Hurricane Mathew made landfall in southwestern Haiti on October 4, 2016, severely damaging water and sanitation infrastructure, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) prioritized the fast provision of safe drinking water throughout acutely affected areas. USAID/OFDA provided more than 38 metric tons of calcium hypochlorite and 5.7 million water purification tablets to the Government of Haiti (GoH) National Directorate for Water and Sanitation (DINEPA) and response actors to restore access to clean water and ensure proper sanitation and hygiene practices in affected communities—key to mitigating the increased risk of cholera outbreaks. Other USAID/OFDA partners, including Catholic Relief Services, International Medical Corps, Oxfam International, Samaritan’s Purse, Save the Children, and Solidarités are treating and rehabilitating 29 piped water networks, as well as protecting 26 communal springs in affected communities.

1/18/2017: Three months after Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti, the number of people facing hunger and food insecurity in Grande-Anse and Sud - the most affected areas - has declined steadily from approximately 1 million to 400,000, a recent assessment shows. However, in the North West, Artibonite, Nippes and La Gonave, although the impact of the hurricane was smaller, its effects coupled with three years of drought and severe flooding have led to a hike in the levels of food insecurity with one million people affected. In total, more than 1.5 million people are food insecure in those six areas following this series of shocks. The latest Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA), conducted in December 2016 by the National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and FEWS NET, confirms improvements in people’s capacity to feed themselves and their families but at the same time, the need to continue providing assistance in hurricane-affected areas as people rebuild their livelihoods. The assessment also highlights the need to extend assistance beyond these areas in departments where levels of food insecurity have been found to be high. In the departments of Sud and Grande-Anse, where food assistance was provided from October 2016 onwards, the levels of food insecurity have decreased, respectively, from 79 % after the hurricane to 41 % two months later, and from 78 % to 54 % during the same period. Since the start of the emergency response, under the leadership of the government, WFP has distributed food assistance in those two departments to more than 900,000 people, and fortified foods to more than 20,000 pregnant and nursing women and children under five years old. Meanwhile, FAO has provided seeds, tools, financial resources to more than 21,000 vulnerable households in the departments of Grande-Anse, Sud, Sud-est, West and North West. The levels of food insecurity are highest in the western part of the department of North West (65%), North Artibonite (54%) and in la Gonave island (54%), which were not prioritized regions for emergency response after a first assessment in mid-October.

1/4/2017: UNICEF and its partners ensured safe water is available to over 281,000 individuals, including 118,000 children. UNICEF contributed to the cholera vaccination campaign, in November that reached 807,395 people, ensuring the delivery also of information regarding the prevention of cholera. Over 309,213 children between the ages of 1-14 years are included in this figure. In the health sector, UNICEF has restored the cold-chain systems of 37 facilities, has equipped 35 malnutrition outpatient treatment centers in Grand’Anse and South and two inpatient facilities in each of these departments. In education, UNICEF has completed the restoration of 14 schools, with another 107 in various stages of progress. These restored schools have made it possible for 4,200 students to return to class. In total, it’s expected that over 36,000 students will return to the schools rehabilitated by UNICEF. OXFAM has warned that people in the South and Grande Anse departments on the southern peninsula of Haiti are food insecure. A very poor harvest is expected in January and February as Matthew wiped out 80 per cent of crops, drowned most livestock, destroyed critical infrastructure and decimated the country’s bread-basket. In the most affected areas, 80 percent of the population relies on subsistence farming to feed their families.  Before the hurricane struck, rural populations were already struggling to cope with a severe drought that had devastated crops. The hurricane also hit at the worst possible time as farmers were getting ready to harvest the little they had managed to produce.

12/31/2016: According to the USAID supported Famine Early Warning System (FEWS-NET) rice, black beans, maize, and cooking oil are among the most important food items for poor and middle income households in Haiti. Roots and tubers are also important, but not currently monitored. All cooking oil is imported and rice imports account for about 80 percent of national needs. Large quantities of beans and maize are also imported, but over half of the national needs are domestically produced. Rice is consumed by even the poorest households, and imported rice is generally cheaper than locally produced rice. Croix de Bossales is the largest market in the country and is located in Port au Prince, where one-third of the country’s population lives. Hinche, in the center of the country, is located in one of the most vulnerable areas. Jeremie is the farthest market from Port au Prince and Jacmel is located in the Southeast department, a department particularly exposed to cyclones and known for having the highest rates of malnutrition in the country.  Full report available here:

12/26/2016: The United Nations fund aimed at rapid humanitarian response for people affected by natural disasters and armed conflict has approved $3.5 million for restoring safe education services for schools and other relief activities in storm-hit southwest Haiti.  According to the situation report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the disbursement from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will also cover protection assistance to most vulnerable people evicted from temporary shelters and support to an estimated 30,000 people in areas of return. While the Caribbean island nation recovers from the massive destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew nearly three months ago, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partners have identified 1,633 schools in need of repairs, affecting approximately 190,000 children, according to the report. With the funding, the UNICEF-led education project will be implemented in the municipalities of Les Cayes, Port Salut, and Jeremie, among others. The project will target some 16,000 children between age six and 18, who have been excluded from school as a result of damages caused by the Hurricane. In the storm’s wake, schools served as temporary shelters for evacuees, UNICEF said. Schools in these municipalities are now being vacated and will provide the minimum required conditions for the resumption of teaching and learning activities. Children will also benefit from protection assistance and receive school kits, while schools are cleaned, refurbished and basic WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities are rehabilitated. In Haiti’s Sud region, UNICEF worked with partners to ensure that 30 schools, previously used as shelters, now have adequate sanitation for their reopening.

12/25/2016: According to IOM registration data, 3 percent of families living in temporary shelters have received offers from strangers to take care of their children, raising concerns of trafficking risks.

12/21/2016: As of December 15, the UN World Food Program (WFP) provided emergency food assistance to approximately 720,000 severely food-insecure people in areas of Haiti’s Grand’Anse, Nippes, and Sud departments identified as high priorities for humanitarian assistance. With support from USAID and other donors, WFP launched the second round of in-kind food distributions and has reached approximately 170,000 people in acutely hurricane-affected areas of Sud. USAID is supporting three shelter partners to implement a “build back safer” initiative, which provides shelter kits and technical assistance to vulnerable families, as well as trainings to bolster hurricane-affected communities’ adherence to disaster risk reduction approaches and improve household resilience to future shocks. USAID/OFDA has contributed nearly $8.3 million to date to provide emergency and transitional shelter assistance to hurricane-affected families. USAID recently contributed nearly $3.2 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Medair and Oxfam/España (Oxfam/E) to provide shelter and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) assistance to hurricane-affected families in Grand’Anse and Sud. The new funding brings total U.S. Government (USG) support for Hurricane Matthew relief efforts in Haiti to more than $81.8 million

12/19/2016: UNDP has supported the creation of Emergency employment with 123,680 daily jobs created in 10 of the most affected communes.  Access to safe water remains critical. The WASH sector reported that 42 partners in 88 communes are supporting the DINEPA in the WASH response. Water supply systems affected by Matthew are being rehabilitated by DINEPA (the government water agency) on World Bank funds among others.

12/16/2016: According to the USAID supported Famine Early Warning System (FEWS-NET), emergency food assistance needs will remain high until Printemps harvests are fully underway starting in July 2017. Unless agricultural assistance is provided, many very poor households in southwestern Haiti will likely be unable to cultivate crops, limiting improvements in food access during the post-harvest period.

12/7/2016: As of November 28, USAID/OFDA partner the International Organization for Migration (IOM) had registered nearly 3,150 households—approximately 14,200 people—at more than 250 temporary shelters in Grand’Anse and Sud departments through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) staff report that displaced people continue to vacate temporary shelters to return to their areas of origin or other host communities. The DART is encouraging response partners to prioritize shelter repairs for the most vulnerable households to facilitate voluntary returns to communities of origin. The majority of schools used as shelters in Sud had reopened as of early December, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) staff in Sud’s Les Cayes commune. Nearly 990 households—more than 4,900 people—had vacated schools in Sud as of November 25, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports. USAID/OFDA recently contributed $2 million to non-governmental organization (NGO) Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to provide emergency and transitional shelter assistance to vulnerable families in Sud’s acutely-affected Coteaux commune. To date, USAID/OFDA has provided nearly $6.3 million for critical shelter interventions in hurricane-affected areas of Haiti. The new funding brings total U.S. Government (USG) support for Hurricane Matthew relief efforts in Haiti to nearly $81.2 million.n the last week,  Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Cholera Treatment Centre in Port-à-Piment has admitted seven new patients per day, some of whom have come from neighbouring areas to seek care. This is a spike in new cases compared to the last three weeks of November. Patients arrive at the oral rehydration centres that MSF opened in the mountains and are then transferred to the cholera treatment centre in one of two special ambulances.

12/5/2016: The Haitian Government (CSNA) and its partners (WFP, FEWS-NET) conducted a market analysis in 22 markets in Grande-Anse, Nippes and Sud Departments of Haiti. These departments have been the most affected by the hurricane Matthew which left a large part of the south- western tip of Haiti devastated on 4th October 2016. The surveyed markets have reopened and are operating with the same frequency as before the hurricane. The markets of Grande-Anse have been the hardest hit and a significant share of traders is still not back in business. In the markets of Nippes and Sud, however, most traders are active. Infrastructure constraints, mainly means and routes of transport and food shops, have been mentioned as an issue almost unanimously across the hurricane- devastated zone. The markets in Grand-Anse seem to be most affected by these destructions, while infrastructure for markets in Nippes and Sud have been less damaged. In almost all markets, there are traders who report that security has declined due to bandits and theft of foodstuffs in the markets and on transport routes

12/4/2016:  The World Food Programme (WFP) reports that the movement of commodities for humanitarian assistance is rapidly going back to a higher pace now that elections have been completed.  806,000 Haitians remain food-insecure.  Humanitarian agencies are assisting with the departure of families sheltered in schools in Jeremie -  more than 300 families are scheduled to receive assistance in three schools in the coming days. The first humanitarian radio programme responding to questions from affected people was broadcast on 3 December on Radio Guinen. UNICEF partners have secured water supply to an additional 19,000 people in Jeremie and surroundings through three mobile water treatment units.

11/29/2016:  A UN World Food Program (WFP) chartered barge with the capacity to transport up to 500 metric tons (MT) of relief commodities arrived in Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince on November 21. Using the barge, WFP planned to transport approximately 425 MT of humanitarian cargo—including food assistance, shelter supplies, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) items—from Port-au-Prince to Anse d’Hainault commune, Grand’Anse Department, for onward distribution to hurricane-affected communities. More than 50 response organizations—including nine USAID/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance partners—are supporting efforts by the Government of Haiti (GoH) National Directorate for Water and Sanitation (DINEPA) to restore communities’ access to safe drinking water and ensure adequate hygiene and sanitation in hurricane-affected areas. As of November 16, WASH actors had established nearly 30 mobile water treatment units—supplying potable water to at least 100,000 people—in the hurricane-affected departments of Grand’Anse, Nippes, and Sud. USAID/Food For Peace Office recently contributed more than $14.4 million to a non-governmental organization (NGO) consortium to provide cash-based food assistance to approximately 500,000 people in Grand’Anse and Sud. The new funding brings total U.S. Government (USG) support for Hurricane Matthew relief efforts in Haiti, The Bahamas, and Jamaica to nearly $79.1 million.

11/26/2016:  According to to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), early data indicate that 90 per cent of the targeted population in 16 communes of the Grand’Anse and Sud departments received cholera vaccination between 8 and 18 November.  6,500 people have benefited from the “cash-for-work” program related to the cleaning of debris in Grand’Anse and Sud.  Humanitarian partners are mobilizing their resources to provide assistance as tensions rise in Jérémie, where an estimated 3,000 displaced persons could be forcibly evicted from a main school next week. Landslides on 22 November in Grand’Anse blocked road access to Les Irois, Anse d’Hainault and Dame Marie, preventing medical mobile clinics to access the areas.  The World Food Programme (WFP) reports a general increase of prices and unavailability of local products along with a strong continued dependence on food assistance. Between 7 October and 25 November, WFP reached 630,000 people and distributed a total of 6,600mt of food. Supplementary feeding has been distributed to 3,130 children aged between 6 and 59 months (BSF). The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is starting to distribute seeds to 4,500 households in Grande Hanse. WFP has already reached those zones with seed protection rations in order to prevent seed consumption.

11/25/2016: A World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) backed vaccination campaign has reached more than 729,000 people. Teams encountered significant difficulties in reaching some areas cut off due to damaged roads.

11/21/2016: According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), $63 million in contributions has been received against a request of $139 million to address the needs of Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew. The UN Education, Science, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is prioritizing rehabilitation of schools from roofs to desks and furniture, kits and school manuals, disaster risk reduction, cholera health education and psycho-social support. UNESCO is supporting the Ministry of Education with rapid and light rehabilitation of the affected school infrastructure, distribution of school equipment, and coordination, assessments and information management activities.

11/19/2016: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports tensions increased in Les Cayes over threats of evictions of families temporarily sheltering in schools. From 8 October to 18 November, 590,000 people received food assistance, representing 73 per cent of the 806,000 people at extreme food insecurity in the affected areas. Funding for the three-month Flash Appeal has increased by six per cent during this reporting period. Some US$56 million is still required. The possibility of a tropical depression forming in the southern Caribbean Sea over the next five days brings the risk of heavy rains in southern Haiti.

11/18/2016: Canada announced it will provide Haiti $54 million to Haiti over the next five years, including more than $2 million in immediate aid.  Most of the money will support ong-term agricultural initiatives.

11/17/2016: The Haitian Ministry of Education began reopening schools in the worst hit departments of the country. More than 700 schools were affected and about 86 schools are being used as temporary shelters, causing school disruption for around 150,000 children. It is estimated that in the South Department, where Ashleina and Pauleta live, 126 public schools have been seriously damaged. In the Grande Anse Department, 209 public schools have been affected, with 107 of them sustaining heavy damage.

11/13/2016: Heavy rainfall in recent days has caused flash-flooding and landslides in the Departments of Grand’Anse, and Northwest, already affected by Hurricane Matthew and the departments of North and Northeast, necessitating an expansion of the emergency response. At least 10 lives have been lost and damage to crops, structures and roadways continues to mount. UNICEF and its partners are responding to immediate needs

11/10/2016: The World Bank released $30 million dollars in support of education in the hurricane affected south.  It will (1) support school enrollment through the provision of community education grants, school grants, and tuition waivers for about 50,000 children enrolled in selected public and private primary schools; (2) Rehabilitate or build classrooms in 75 primary schools; (3) Train teachers and school directors and purchase school supplies for at least 100 public schools; (4) Develop standards to improve schooling performance, and strengthen monitoring and evaluation at central and local levels.  It is slated to last for six yaers and will be implemented by the Ministry of National Education and Professional Training (MENFP).

11/9/2016: Canada’s healthcare and pharmaceutical industry donated 16 skids of medicines through Health Partners in Canada.  The value is estimated at $1.3 million.

11/8/2016: The U.S Government has resumed deportations of undocumented Haitians. 

11/7/2016: The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has increased the number of cholera emergency response teams from four to 17 in the two most-affected departments to help cut transmission rates by providing early treatment. The International Medical Corps (IMC) will dispatch 9,000 health providers to administer the vaccine to anyone over a year old. One million doses of the vaccine were shipped to Haiti last week from Dubai through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

11/5/2016: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society reports 350 Haitian Red Cross volunteers are getting trained and ready to participate in the upcoming cholera vaccination campaign. In teams of two, they’ll visit 16 areas devastated by Hurricane Matthew to spread the word about the campaign, encourage vaccinations and share information about cholera and how to prevent it from spreading. Trainings are being conducted by the Canadian Red Cress in Jeremie on hygiene and cholera prevention methods.

11/4/2016: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has deployed teams of midwives and mobile clinics to Grand’Anse and Nippes, two of the departments hardest-hit by the hurricane. These health professionals will be able to provide both maternal health care and referral services for survivors of violence. UNFPA reports it is also working with partners to rehabilitate maternity units damaged in the disaster, and is providing “Relief Baby Boxes” to support the health of 2,000 newborns. Over 260 reproductive health kits will also be provided – these kits contain the medicines and materials required to support safe childbirth, voluntary family planning, post-rape treatment and other care to 390,000 people for three months. The World Food Programme (WFP) reports that a month after Hurricane Matthew struck, it has distributed food assistance to almost 400,000 people.

11/3/2016: According to Reuters, Haiti launched its presidential campaign for the fifth time in a year. Survivors of Hurricane Matthew have more immediate concerns. Since Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti one month ago, the Haiti Red Cross Society and other Red Cross partners have reached over 31,000 people with medical care, relief items, clean water, sanitation and hygiene support, with efforts focusing on stemming cholera and other diseases.U NICEF said there have been at least 1,000 suspected cholera cases among children in the past month. Out of 219 cholera treatment centres in the country, 18 have been damaged in the worst-hit departments of Grand’Anse and South, further complicating efforts to contain the disease. The total destruction the Category 4 storm inflicted on crops, food stock and livestock in some of the worst affected areas have left over 800,000 people in need of immediate food assistance and more than 112,000 children at risk of acute malnutrition. An estimated 50,000 children have been left homeless and are staying in temporary shelters. Another 3,500 children living in institutions need help accessing nutrition, water and sanitation services. Up to 80 per cent of hospitals and health centres in Grand’Anse have lost their roofs. An additional seven health centres in Grand’Anse, four in South and three in Nippes are no longer operational. More than 700 schools have been affected and about 86 schools have been used as temporary shelters, causing school disruption for at least 150,000 children.

10/28/2016: The U.N Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that damages to crops, livestock and fisheries are dramatic in the most affected departments (Grande-Anse, Sud, Sud-Est, Nippes, Haut-Artibonite and Nord-Ouest) and that in the South all food crops (bean, yam,corn, cassava and millet) are irreversibly affected, and 90 percent of fruit and forest trees are affected. A significant food price increase is expected in the next three months. FAO notes affected families urgently need food and agricultural assistance – including seeds, planting materials and farming equipment – to avoid food shortages and be ready for the winter planting season starting in November. The Haitian Ministry of Health (MSPP) is setting up a vaccination campaign against cholera in areas ravaged by Hurricane Matthew, with support from the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO /WHO). The target population is estimated at over 820,000 people over one year of age. The vaccination campaign will begin November 8, 2016. Activities will focus on the municipalities most vulnerable to cholera outbreaks in the two southern departments of Grand’Anse and Sud. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on October 28th confirmed 546 deaths and 438 injured as a result of the hurricane (from government sources). The people in urgent food insecurity are in areas where over 75 per cent of the population was affected by the hurricane. These include places where livelihood activities related to agriculture, livestock and fishing have been almost completely destroyed, such as crops, farming equipment, stocks, and trade. Of the 1.4 million people who need humanitarian assistance, more than 40 per cent are children who are mainly in the Grand’Anse and Sud Departments. Another estimated 40 per cent – approximately 546,000 people – are women of reproductive age. Exacerbating the pre-existing displacement crisis of tens of thousands of Haitians returning from the Dominican Republic, concerns have increased about the safety of children and families, especially with the increased risk of food insecurity, malnutrition, and vulnerability to violence – including sex- and gender-based violence (SGBV) and disease.

10/24/2016: The World Food Program (WFP) estimates 800,000 people are in dire need of immediate food aid, according to an emergency field assessment WFP found that inn the Department of Grande-Anse, agriculture has been virtually wiped out, warehouses have suffered serious damage, and the availability of local produce is now reduced to fruit fallen from trees. Around 50 percent of livestock were lost in some areas of the department. On Haiti's southern coast, fishing activities are paralyzed due to nets, traps, boats and engines being washed away by flooding. As a result, income that families might use to buy food is nearly nonexistent. Meanwhile, losses of subsistence crops in the Department of Sud have been near total. Almost 90 percent of the department's forest and fruit trees were severely damaged; the remaining 10 percent are not likely to be productive this season. The head of U.N Women reported that women and children may be at higher risk of sexual exploitation and trafficking in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Thousands of women and children have been forced to migrate to towns and the capital Port-au-Prince for food and shelter since the October 4 storm, destitute and vulnerable. Some 1.4 million people lost their homes or livelihoods in the storm, which created the worst humanitarian crisis since a devastating earthquake in 2010.

10/23/2016: More than 170 inmates in Arcahaie have escaped from a prison after killing a guard and stealing firearms. The U.N estimates 1.4 million people in hurricane-affected regions are still need of assistance. Torrential rains have been falling since Thursday in several departments, causing fooding, infrastructure damage, and loss of life.

10/21/2016: The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) reported Haiti Red Cross volunteers have delivered packages of emergency food, shelter, hygiene and household supplies to 600 families in the remote southwestern commune of Anse d’Hainault – the first relief items to reach people in this area.

10/20/2016: UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called upon the international community to support the $120 million “flash appeal” to fund humanitarian response in Haiti. $56 million would be for providing emergency food, nutrition and agriculture to the people of Haiti. Other sectors in the appeal included water and sanitation, emergency shelter and non-food items, health, protection, logistics and communication, early recovery and livelihoods, education, and coordination. Ten days since the launch, the appeal is only 22 percent funded. 10/19/2016: As of October 19, OCHA estimates 75,000 displaced people are living in 307 temporary shelters, 546 deaths, 438 injuries and 128 missing reported. 806,000 people are at extreme level of food insecurity. 1,421 cholera cases suspected. 34 treatment centres for cholera were destroyed. To date, the UN has received only $26.5 million in funding against its $119.8 appeal to support the response.

10/18/2016: Special Advisor to the U.N. Secretary General David Nabarro has expressed concern that the scale of a cholera outbreak in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew may be underreported because remote areas are cut off.  He reiterated that the U.N. will soon launch a new plan intended to improve cholera response and water and sanitation infrastructure in Haiti, and to provide material assistance to victims. A group of Haitian American leaders in Miami returned from visiting hurricane-affected sites in Haiti.  They emphasized the importance of the Haitian government improving its capacity to prepare for and respond to future hurricanes.  

10/17/2016: The head of the DOD U.S. Southern Command said that he expects the U.S. military's role in the aid mission to Haiti to wrap up shortly after delivering hundreds of thousands of pounds of rice and medical supplies. 

10/16/2016: Shortly before Ban Ki Moon's helicopter landd in Les Cayes, a clash broke out between rock-throwing residents and peacekeepers at a UN base.  According to Al Jazeera, roughly 100 frustrated residents began hurling rocks when trucks ferrying food aid arrived. Haitian police officers and UN peacekeepers scattered the group with tear gas.  Calm was restored as Ban's helicopter approached. He reitrerated that a cholera-focused trust fund announced in recent weeks was part of the UN's new approach to helping Haitian families who lost loved ones to the epidemic.   

10/15/2016: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to Haiti today and visit areas devastated by Hurricane Matthew as a UN funding appeal for the Caribbean nation drew few donors. Ban will visit Les Cayes on Haiti’s southern coast and meet with Haitian leaders.

10/14/2016: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on Thursday announced $12 million in additional humanitarian aid for the hardest hit areas in the country’s southwestern peninsula. Most of the new assistance — which brings total U.S. aid for immediate Hurricane Matthew relief efforts in the Caribbean to about $14 million — will be used to provide enough food and vouchers to feed 750,000 people in Haiti for three months.  The rest of the aid will be used to provide relief supplies, including blankets, hygiene kits, water containers, generators and chain saws, as well as chlorine to treat contaminated water and logistics to ensure air, sea and land distribution to the hardest hit areas.  ACAPS notes that trust between people in need and aid workers has been hampered by several security incidents. Blockades and attacks on aid workers are reported in Jérémie, Les Cayes, Carrefour Charles, Chambellon, and Torbeck as people try to access aid. Road access has improved throughout Grand’Anse and Sud.  510 cases of cholera now reported throughout Haiti; 60,000 are in need of emergency health services.  ACAPS goes on to note the damage to schools and numbers of affected children reported so far refer only to public schools, which comprise only 20% of schools in Haiti, meaning figures are likely much higher.  Haiti's postponed elections have been moved to November 20th. 

10/13/2016: ACAPS published a Haiti Market Environment Analysis report. The hurricane had a major negative impact on livelihoods, infrastructure and roads. Widespread damage to subsistence production increases the reliance of households on markets for basic needs. At the same time, essential movement of money and goods has been severely constrained, with some departments cut off from the capital due to flooding, landslides, and debris, resulting in localised shortages of basic items and price increases. Markets in Haiti have shown to bounce back relatively quickly after sudden-onset events. Market-based responses, including cash based programming that also help restoring market functionality have proven to be a feasible option to consider over in-kind assistance.  However, there is currently insufficient information available in the public domain to inform decisions on the most appropriate interventions beyond the immediate response phase. Rapid remote assessments on the functionality of markets, availability of goods and price data (food and non-food items) is required.  The UN extended the peacekeeping mission (MINUSTAH) for six more months. 

10/12/2016: According to ACAPS, 1,410,900 people, including 592,600 children, are in need of humanitarian aid, of which 750,000, including 315,000, are severely in need. So far, at least 1,000 people have been reported dead. More than 200,000 houses have been severely damaged or destroyed. At least 175,500 have been evacuated or displaced and housed in 224 temporary shelters. However, this figure does not include displaced people living in host families or informal settlements. The overall scale of displacement is therefore underestimated.  At least 356 new cholera cases have already been reported. There is a very high risk of a significant increase in cholera as a result of damage to weak WASH infrastructure. High food shortages and extensive damages to plantations have been reported across the affected areas. Road access is improving in coastal areas but interior mountainous areas have still not be reached. Growing insecurity are of concern and likely to impact response

10/11/2016: The UN estimates 1.4 million Haitians are in need of assistance. The UN Security Council will vote Thursday on extending the MINUSTAH mission until April next year. A review is taking place over the next six months for a draw-down of peacekeepers which would be replaced by a smaller UN presence.  There is concern though that the hurricane's aftermath and electoral uncertainties could result in further instability.  The US Government has put on hold plans to deport undocumented Haitians seeking entry into the United States due to Hurricane Matthew.

10/10/2016: The death toll has passed 1,000 (according to local officials). The United Nations released a three month appeal for $119 million to provide food, clean drinking water and shelter in affected areas.  The UN Humanitarian Coordinator is emphasizing the importance of reaching rural communities, and not just larger towns and cities, with assistance.   UNICEF has estimated 100,000 children have had their education interrupted. The WHO is sending one million cholera vaccine does to Haiti. 

10/9/2016: OCHA estimates 80% of crops have been lost in certain areas of the south.  Thirteen suspected cholera cases have been reported in the southwest.  Haiti has officially begun three days of mourning. 

10/8/2016: The death tolls has risen to 800.  Aerial footage suggests 80% of Jeremie, the Haitian City of Poets, has been destroyed. Some towns are only reachable by air or sea.  USAID and the DOD are ramping and numerous NGOs are preparing to as well.  The Red Cross has release an appeal.   

Original Text: The U.N.'s humanitarian aid agency (OCHA) said 350,000 Haitians need prompt assistance, including food and clean water, marking the worst humanitarian crisis in the nation since the 2010 devastating earthquake.  According to the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO), nine of Haiti's 15 main hospitals are up and running.  Even without the ongong cholera response, the situation is precarious for many displaced from their homes, especially in the southwest.  Food insecurity will be made worse by crops having been washed away. There will be much coverage in the days ahead and many organizations are responding. According to USAID, "the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance deployed disaster teams to Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas, and also strategically pre-positioned emergency relief supplies—including shelter materials, blankets, hygiene kits, household items, and water purification equipment—to ensure they are available to help communities affected by Hurricane Matthew. The disaster teams are coordinating with governments of the affected countries and humanitarian organizations on the ground to bring vital humanitarian assistance to those in need in the aftermath of the major hurricane."  The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) is a good general source of information for how to support disaster response efforts.  Some organizations requesting funds for the response can be found here but I would also add the Haitian Health Foundation and Partners in Health.  Mark Schuller reminds us of the importance of supporting location organizations and that we should expect response organizations from elsewhere to work with Haitian groups as well.  I'll continue to post updates as they become available. 



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