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Haiti: Handicap International has transported 82 tonnes of humanitarian equipment to victims of Hurricane Matthew


Two months after Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on 4 October 2016, 1.4 million people still need assistance. Handicap International is continuing its emergency response in aid of the disaster’s victims.

Handicap International logistic platform | © Handicap International

Following the passage of Hurricane Matthew, 750,000 disaster victims have received assistance from the humanitarian community and the government  (access to drinking water, food, hygiene, healthcare, and so on). However, the needs of the affected population remain high: “Hurricane Matthew has weakened a country already in the throes of an economic, health and social crisis. Two months after the hurricane made landfall, the needs of the affected populations remain high, especially for communities in areas that are isolated or difficult to access. Our priority is still to take action and provide assistance,” explains Sylvia Sommella, head of Handicap International’s emergency mission in Haiti.

Logistical constraints
Hurricane Matthew and floods in the north and south of Haiti have damaged dozens of roads and bridges. To help transport humanitarian aid to people living in remote areas by sea or land, Handicap International has set up a logistics platform covering the departments of Sud, Grand Anse and Les Nippes. The organisation has made 21 deliveries by road and 11 by sea and transported 82 tonnes of humanitarian equipment, to allow affected populations to repair their homes and improve their living conditions.

Distribution of emergency kits
Handicap International is also organising the distribution of 1,000 emergency kits  and essential  household items in the department of Les Nippes to provide people with a roof over their heads and decent living conditions and to stop the spread of epidemics.

Rehabilitation and psychosocial support
Immediately after the hurricane hit, two mobile teams of three experts  were deployed to the city of Les Cayes to case-manage the injured immediately after the disaster. Each team assessed conditions in the city’s hospitals and its rehabilitation services, supplied wheelchairs, crutches and walking frames, and organised rehabilitation sessions for more than 150 people. The organisation also ran psychological support sessions for victims: “A lot of people have been deeply affected by the hurricane. Some of them have lost everything and live in temporary shelters with little privacy or security. It’s very destabilising and adds to the pain of losing a relative or injury,” explains Fanny Del who is overseeing Handicap International’s emergency operations in Port-au-Prince. Additional teams are being formed and will soon be deployed to the city of Les Cayes, then Jérémie.

Including the most vulnerable people
The organisation is also identifying the most vulnerable people – isolated heads of households, pregnant women, older people and people with disabilities – in the departments of Grande Anse and Sud, and provides support to humanitarian actors to secure their access to humanitarian services (healthcare, education, rehabilitation, etc.).

Handicap International’s response: key figures

  • 151 people benefited from rehabilitation sessions
  • 70 people benefited from psychological support
  • 136 vulnerable people identified by Handicap International in communities. The organisation ensures access to humanitarian services (healthcare, rehabilitation, etc.)
  • 1 logistics platform set up by Handicap International in the cities of Les Cayes and Jérémie. 32 journeys organised (21 road deliveries and 11 by sea), for 40 trucks and 10 boats, transporting 82 tonnes of humanitarian equipment for other partners  to people living in remote areas.
  • 1,000 emergency kits containing tools and essential household items distributed in the department of Les Nippes.

Photos: ©Handicap International

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