Haiti: Hurricane Matthew - Situation Report No.28 (10 December)

Main Points

  • Active screening of children under five in most affected areas of Grand’Anse and Sud point to alarming levels of malnutrition and the need for immediate response. 

  • Close to 98% of the 806,000 severely food insecure people in need of assistance have received food distributions. In addition, some 120,000 people have also received food as part of WFP’s second round of distributions. 

  • Concern over continued food insecurity into 2017 is growing as farming remains undermined by lack of seeds and debris clearance.

  • Cash programming reached 32,807 households in November, transferring just over $2 million in food security, shelter, early recovery and safe water programmes.

796,000 People received food in first round distribution

744,000 People provided with safe water

320,000 People received hygiene kits

20,000 People benefited from cash for work and income generating support

Situation Overview

Humanitarian partners are increasingly concerned about the nutritional situation in the most affected areas. The Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) conducted by WFP and the national Centre for Food Security (CNSA) in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane had revealed that some 806,000 people were in situation of severe food insecurity, which increases the risk of malnutrition among vulnerable groups such as children under five (12.5% of the population) as well as pregnant and lactating women (2.5% of the population). UNICEF, the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) and their partners conducted active screenings in November in three of the most affected communes in Grand’Anse (Les Irois, Anse d’Hainault and Dame Marie) and six communes in the Sud region. Findings point to a worsening nutritional situation with malnutrition levels two to four times higher than levels in normal screenings.

Moreover, in the regions most affected by Hurricane Matthew, which account for 60 per cent of the national crop production, crop destruction ranged from 75 to 100%. The winter planting season is closing in the next few days and only a fraction of farmers have received new seeds (18%), while debris clearance is ongoing, also hampering resumption of agriculture. Fishing has also been impacted by the destruction of assets. Food stocks are exhausted. The region is therefore at risk of continued high levels of food insecurity, with a peak by mid-2017 if the yield of the next planting season in March is not optimal. This situation points to the importance of an early shift towards recovery. To date, some 150,000 people have received income generating support in order to kick start recovery. The revision of the EFSA will be conducted by the partners between 15 and 22 December.

According to the Shelter and NFI Working Group, Hurricane Matthew impacted an estimated 370,000 housing units, of which 30,000 have been destroyed and 60,000 partially to seriously damaged. Houses in urban and peri-urban areas suffered comparatively less damage than homes in rural and mountainous areas as the latter traditionally use timber, thatch and mud. To date, some 23,000 families received technical information on safer repairs and reconstruction techniques. In addition, close to 22,000 households have received shelter kits; some 7,100 received toolkits while 2,000 families were given corrugated iron sheets (CGI). Just over 395,000 people received plastic sheetings as part of the emergency shelter support. Yet serious challenges remain, including the clearing of debris and rubble, the lack of quality construction material and risk of taxation on imported goods as well the lack of funding for more durable solutions.

Meanwhile, in the two months since the Hurricane made landfall, humanitarian organizations have provided food to 796,000 people in the first round of distribution (against 806,000 targeted) and to an additional 120,000 people in the second round (against 630,000 targeted). Safe water has been delivered to more than 744,000 people and 170,000 people were supported with hygiene interventions. Cash programming reached 32,807 households in November, transferring a total of just over $2 million in programmes intended to meet food security, shelter, early recovery and water needs. WFP and CNSA along with its partners FEWSNET, CARE and MoA published a summary of their assessment of 22 markets in Grande-Anse, Nippes and Sud Departments. General findings on market functioning show severe access constraints, increased looting and banditry, shortages of locally-produced foodstuffs and price increases of between 15% and 25% for staple foods. The assessment finds that cash transfers remain an appropriate tool to meet food needs, but warns that transfer values must be based on an assessment of market prices. WFP, CARE and partners, in conjunction with the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs (MAST) will start cash distributions targeting 110,000 beneficiaries in Grand’Anse and Sud later this month.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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