HI has worked in Haiti since 2008. After the island was hit by Hurricane Matthew on 4 October 2016, which affected more than two million people, the organisation launched an emergency response in aid of the victims. HI also assisted people injured in the earthquake of 12 January 2010, which caused more than 230,000 people to lose their lives and injured a further 300,000.
Fymee and Moise both lost legs in the 2010 earthquake, HI Haiti | © William Daniels / HI
Actions in process
HI is now implementing new projects to support Haitians in the long term. In order to address the lack of local rehabilitation expertise (before the earthquake there were only 13 qualified physiotherapists working in the country), HI is training rehabilitation processionals, who have never received an official education. Furthermore, the organisation is promoting access to quality rehabilitation services and providing support (mainly organisational and technical) to health structures.
HI has implemented projects aimed at improving the preparation and protection of vulnerable people, particularly people with disabilities, when natural disasters occur. The organisation is raising awareness and training the authorities, civil security, and project partners to ensure they take the most vulnerable into account in their response.
HI also promotes the inclusive employment of people with disabilities, including by making training centres and employees aware of the professional potential of people with disabilities.
In order to improve road safety in Haiti, HI is raising people's awareness of road safety and improving access to shared transport for people with disabilities.
After Haiti was hit by Hurricane Matthew on 4 October 2016, which affected more than two million people, HI launched an emergency response in aid of the victims. The response was expected to last several months. The organisation deployed mobile teams to assess the city’s hospitals and rehabilitation services, supply wheelchairs, crutches and walking frames, organise rehabilitation sessions for the injured and provide them with psychological support. HI organised the distribution of 1,000 emergency kits containing a toolbox, ropes and sheets, along with hygiene kits and essential household items. The organisation also set up a logistics platform in the cities of Les Cayes and Jérémie to transport humanitarian aid by land or sea. In addition, it provided other humanitarian actors with advice to make sure the most vulnerable people (heads of households, older or disabled people, and so on) benefit from their services.
The organisation also launched a response after the violent earthquake that hit the country on 12 January 2010, killing more than 230,000 people. More than 90,000 people received rehabilitation care, over 1,400 benefited from orthopaedic fitting, and 5,600 mobility aids were distributed to people with disabilities.
Situation of the country
More than two million people have been affected by Hurricane Matthew, which hit Haiti on 4 October 2016.
Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, is subject to chronic political instability. Needs vary widely according to the different areas of the country and the different populations concerned. In the capital, Port-au-Prince, there are huge needs arising from the socio-economic situation: unemployment, which is particularly high among the young, the rising cost of essential foodstuffs, insecurity, and the lack of access to water, education and health care. In rural areas, there is a general lack of services (schools and health centres), and people are very vulnerable to natural disasters (cyclones, floods and drought). In this context of widespread poverty, the situation of people with disabilities is even more alarming and their most basic needs for food, housing, health care, access to orthopaedic fitting and safety are simply not met.
More than two million people were affected by Hurricane Matthew and 1.4 million are still in need of immediate humanitarian aid. Many roads are blocked and bridges damaged. Flooding has complicated travel and access to people requiring support.