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Caribbean Hurricane Season OCHA Situation Report No. 20

Situation Report
Originally published


This situation report is based on information received from, the UN Emergency Technical Team (UNETT) in the affected countries, the Regional Office in Panama and the National Hurricane Centre. This situation report covers the effects of storms and Hurricanes "Gustav" and "Ike" in the Caribbean.


- The relocation of those in school shelters remains a concern only days away from the start of the school year.

- The Government of Haiti will conduct a joint damage assessment, supported by the World Bank and the United Nations.

- The Haiti Appeal is only 18.7 % funded and needs urgent support.


1. The weather is relatively calm in the Caribbean basin. However the vulnerability in the Caribbean has significantly increased since the beginning of the hurricane season and only little rain can have a significant impact on the populations at risk.


2. The Government of Haiti will conduct a joint assessment of damage, losses and human recovery needs, supported by the World Bank and the United Nations. The 2008 Flash Appeal for Haiti is now 18.7% funded (USD 20 million out of the USD 107 million requested). Food, agriculture, education and shelter are the least funded sectors, while funding for health (20%) and WatSan (15%) is increasing (see annexed tables).

3. The school year will resume on 6 October. Families are being evacuated from temporary shelters used as schools, raising concerns particularly should weather conditions deteriorate.


4. So far WFP has distributed 4,752MT of food reaching a total of 652,626 beneficiaries. WFP reached previously inaccessible communities in the West and North-West departments, delivering food assistance for 2,820 beneficiaries last week. Two additional WFP/UN helicopters are now supporting inter-agency delivery of food and NFIs, as well as facilitating transport for passengers to remote areas. Another helicopter will be on the ground this week. The convoy that left from Port-au-Prince to Gonaives carried food commodities and fuel, including 120MT of food and 21 barrels of oil for CARE, WHO, Oxfam GB, AMURT and UNICEF. Food for the Poor also delivered 351 food kits to 350 affected families in the North (Pilate) with logistic support from MINUSTAH.

5. WFP will provide training on mass distribution with local leaders in two neighborhoods with MINUSTAH's support. Further infrastructure and warehouses will also be available in Gonaives, including an additional mobile warehouse to be set up in the MINUSTAH base with a 350MT capacity.

6. Oxfam is conducting an Emergency Markets Mapping Analysis focused on a cash-based response under critical market systems. Partners include Oxfam, IFRC, ACDI and Save the Children.


7. High malnutrition rates remain a concern. Assessments indicate the need to increase supplementary and therapeutic feeding, along with food distributions, food-for-work and school feeding programs. Further rapid assessments are required to provide a comprehensive understanding of the nutritional situation. MSF and MDM are using mobile clinics to assist malnourished children; however, there is a need for partners to follow-up on these children.

Shelter and non-food items

8. The Rotary Club and the Comité Départemental de Gestion des Risques et Désastres (CDGRD) are facilitating the closing-down of 27 tents sheltering 60 families. The decision was made in light of prevailing risks of water borne diseases. In exchange, each family will be granted approximately USD150 to subsidize their rent (USD120 provided by CDGRD and USD 20 by the Rotary Club). World Vision, CARITAS, the Mayor of Hinche and the Haitian Red Cross will jointly provide food kits.

9. On September 26, Concern International and IOM distributed 1,500 blankets, 240 tarpaulins, household linens, and food kits to 200 families settled in previously inaccessible communes in Marigot and Cayes de Jacmel. To date, IFRC and the Red Crescent Society have provided 3,924 family kits, 1,150 blankets and 211 mosquito nets. The Groupe d'Appui aux Rapatriés et Réfugiés (GARR) submitted a proposal to IOM for the distribution of hygiene and kitchen kits to 850 homeless families in Fonds Verrettes in the West department.


10. The lack of sufficient information on orphanages has raised concern on the possible increase of separated children and child-trafficking after the hurricanes. In addition, Handicap International confirmed that persons with disabilities have not received relief assistance in the south and are subject to stigmatization.


11. While the DPC reported 50 schools are planned to open for the beginning of the school year (by 6 October), the evacuation of education facilities used as shelters remains a challenge.


12. So far, the sector has provided cargo services to Gonaives for the humanitarian community, meeting most requests. A decrease in cargo movement has been reported by the cluster lead. However, in order to mitigate any potential crisis, stockpiles should be created at the departmental level.

Water and Sanitation

13. Sanitary conditions in shelters and displaced camps around the country are precarious. A strategy paper is being prepared by the cluster to address the sanitation needs of the affected areas countrywide.

14. CARE and the Cooperative Housing Foundation will start the clean-up of schools, hospitals and health centers (including adjacent streets). A six-month proposal was submitted to OFDA requesting USD 250,000.

15. The Spanish Red Cross and the Haitian Red Cross have produced 834,500 litres of safe drinking water that are being distributed by ACF and the Societé Nationale d'Eau Potable (SNEP). In addition, 650 jerricans and 650 buckets are being delivered by a water distribution truck in Gonaives. The massive water treatment system capacity is estimated at around 300,000 litres per day; however, only 60,000 liters are being distributed. The distribution of 10, 000 aqua-tabs and water filters will start in the Terre Blanche community covering 230 families.

16. A cleaning campaign is underway by volunteers of the Haitian Red Cross in the Saint Jacques and Methodist schools. In the South-East (Jacmel/Cayes de Jacmel/Marigot/Côte de Fer), 376,000 litres of safe drinking water have been distributed with an average distribution of 23,500 litres per day. The operation will continue next week. A water treatment plant was transported to Cote de Fer by truck on Wednesday October 1, following a water and sanitation evaluation in Côte de Fer on 16 September. The Spanish Red Cross and the Haitian Red Cross will subsequently be able to produce and distribute 3,000 litres per hour.

17. An evaluation of new areas for the distribution of jerricans, buckets, water filters and aqua-tabs will be conducted. Tools will also be provided to support the clean-up of the city, including fumigation in Jacmel, Cayes de Jacmel and Marigot.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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