Haiti + 2 more

Caribbean Hurricane Season OCHA Situation Report No. 18

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.


- In Haiti the biggest concerns continues to be the massive damage to crops, food insecurity and logistics. The Flash Appeal launched 19 September is only 3.4% funded.

- Heavy rains this week caused floods in several areas of the Dominican Republic prompting evacuations.


1. A low pressure system centered about 150 miles north-east of the Grand Turk Island is moving at 24k/ph became a tropical storm named Kyle. Heavy rains and thunderstorm activity affected Hispaniola this week and Kyle is now moving North-west and is 1035 km away from Bermuda.

2. The vulnerability throughout the Caribbean countries has increased dramatically with another almost 2 months left before the end of the hurricane season. Only little rain can have serious consequences. The region has been affected since 15 August successively by tropical storms ("Fay" and "Hanna") and hurricanes "Gustav" and "Ike" that claimed more than 400 lives so far, affecting more than 3 million persons and damaging more than 600,000 houses.


3. The hurricanes and tropical storms that have affected Haiti since mid-August have killed 423 people and left approximately 800,000 in dire need of help. More than 111,000 people remain in temporary displacement. The colossal damages to the agricultural sector, with 70% of crops damaged or destroyed, currently pose the biggest concern as the population already suffered from a sharp increase of food prices.

4. The UNDAC Team phased out and handed over to the OCHA office in Port-au-Prince as well as to the Sub office of the Humanitarian Coordinator established in Gonaives. Additional Humanitarian Affairs Officers seconded by DFID and CANADEM are arriving in country to strengthen the coordination structure.

5. The Flash Appeal launched on 19 September requesting USD 107 million is only 3.4% covered. Outside the appeal, donors have given approximately USD 17 million in bilateral aid to Haiti. Further funding is urgently needed to strengthen early warning systems and community resilience to the effects of disasters. UNICEF underlines the urgent need of life-saving aid for 300,000 children in Haiti affected by the successive hurricanes.

6. Although the humanitarian relief operation is reaching out to most of the affected areas in Haiti, logistics remains a challenge. Several roads still need to be restored before isolated communities can be properly assisted. As road travel is disrupted by landslides, damaged dikes and collapsed bridges, delivering supplies relies on costly sea and air transportation (see an overview of road conditions in the enclosed map). Efforts to reinforce dikes are underway. However, this will only provide a short-term solution that is likely not to hold in case of further heavy rainfall. Requests from local authorities to the international community for additional reinforcements need to be met as soon as possible. Using cash/food for work programs is recommended to empower local communities.

7. Relocation sites are being identified for displaced families. These sites include warehouses, unfinished schools or tent camps that enable families to remain together and close to their homes. However, stand-alone tents are vulnerable to new storms and ensuring protection becomes a concern in such a challenging environment. All relevant organizations are invited to report to the Protection Cluster to ensure that specific needs of women, children and people with disabilities are properly addressed.

8. On 23 September, the national meteorological service raised the level of alert from orange to red. The government has shared with the RC/HC a revised evacuation plan to be implemented in case of new floods. Heavy rains during the night of 23 September, for instance, resulted in the overflowing of the Orangers River, flooding the lower areas of the city of Jacmel where the population faced severe damages to their houses. The road connecting Jacmel to Port-au-Prince is threatened by high water levels of all surrounding rivers.


9. Some 2,263 MT of emergency food aid has been distributed to 449,854 persons so far. Additional beneficiaries have received assistance in previously inaccessible communities in the department of Artibonite: 6,630 persons in l'Estere, 2,000 in Desdunes and 2,170 in Dessalines. The fourth rotation of the Canadian military vessel St. John was loaded with 122MT of WFP food commodities. The cargo was further dispatched to Belle Anse in the department of Sud-est, where distributions are organized and coordinated with local authorities.

10. The WFP helicopter lifted a first rotation of interagency humanitarian assistance to Gonaives on 24 September. A commercial ferry carried a total of 430MT of food commodities, as well as twelve WFP/inter-agency light vehicles to this city. Furthermore, some 100 MT of food commodities were dispatched to Gonaives by the US navy landing craft, while a convoy of eight trucks left Port au Prince to Gonaives carrying WFP food commodities and three WFP trucks containing fuel and generators. To date, WFP has distributed 1,048 MT of food assistance to 274,066 beneficiaries in Gonaives.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.