DART Leader Tim Callaghan, JTF-Haiti Commander Rear Admiral Keith Davids, and GoH DGPC Director Jerry Chandler visit affected areas in Grand’Anse and Sud.
USAID DART and USAR members continue assessment and response activities in Grand’Anse’s Dame Marie commune.
JTF-Haiti—including the USCG—conducts 170 missions, performing nearly 320 medical evacuations and transporting nearly 80,000 pounds of relief commodities to affected areas.
WFP delivers 100 MT of USAID/BHA-funded food assistance—sufficient to meet the monthly food needs of approximately 7,550 people—from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes.
Earthquake Deaths Rise to More Than 2,200 as DART Members Continue Assessments, Response Efforts The August 14 earthquake in Haiti had resulted in at least 2,207 deaths, injury to more than 12,260 people, and damage to or the destruction of nearly 130,000 houses, with at least 344 people missing, as of August 22, according to the Government of Haiti (GoH). In response, relief actors—including USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) members—continue to conduct assessment and response activities across southwestern Haiti to determine priority needs in coordination with the GoH Civil Protection General Directorate (DGPC).
On August 21, USAID DART Lead Tim Callaghan, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Haiti Commander Rear Admiral Keith Davids, and GoH DGPC Director Jerry Chandler travelled via U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) helicopter to visit Grand’Anse Department’s Pestel commune and Sud Department’s Les Anglais and Maniche communes. During the visit, DART Lead Callaghan identified food, shelter materials, and safe drinking water as priority needs for earthquake-affected households in the three communes, as well as health care services and medical commodities in Les Anglais. In addition, the officials noted continued humanitarian access challenges to affected areas as a result of damaged infrastructure and insecurity along some land routes, underscored by the continued blockage of the main bridge into Grand’Anse’s Jérémie city due to damage.
DART and USAR Personnel Assess Structures and Humanitarian Needs in Dame Marie
DART members, including Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department urban search-and-rescue (USAR) personnel, continue to conduct humanitarian needs and structural assessments in earthquake-affected communities. On August 21, a DART assessment team—comprising USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) disaster experts and USAR personnel—visited Grand’Anse’s Dame Marie commune and conducted structural assessments of a church and a hospital, determining that health care staff were safe to resume operations in the hospital and that a section of the church was unsafe to enter. Prior to the assessments, medical staff were treating patients outside of the hospital due to concerns of structural collapse. Furthermore, following consultations with community members and organizations, DART members determined that town residents required humanitarian protection and psychosocial support (PSS) services, including specialized services to prevent and respond to incidents of gender-based violence (GBV). Community organizations also reported that many residents are sheltering outdoors in the wake of the earthquake due to fear of structural collapse resulting from aftershocks, exacerbating protection risks and other humanitarian needs.
JTF-Haiti Continues Support for DART-Led Relief Operations
In coordination with the DART, JTF-Haiti continues to support relief efforts in response to the earthquake, including by transporting DART and other humanitarian personnel and emergency relief commodities from Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince to affected areas. As of the morning of August 21, JTF-Haiti—including the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)—had conducted 170 missions, performing 319 medical evacuations and delivering nearly 80,000 pounds of humanitarian supplies to affected areas. Subsequently, on August 21, JTF-Haiti facilitated the DART’s assessment of Dame Marie; supported a non-governmental organization (NGO) to transfer medical commodities, personal protective equipment, and generators to Sud’s Les Cayes commune; and supported two NGOs to transport water purification systems and water storage containers to Les Cayes and Ouest Department’s Gonave Island, respectively. In addition, the USS Arlington arrived off the coast of Haiti on August 21 to commence support for ongoing DART and JTF-Haiti operations. The ship has approximately 600 members of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps aboard, as well as two MH-60 Seahawk helicopters, a landing craft, and a fleet surgical team to bolster response efforts. Furthermore, the Puerto Rico Army National Guard has also deployed two helicopters to Haiti, bringing the total number of DoD helicopters in the country assisting DART response efforts to 12.
USAID/BHA Partner WFP Delivers 100 MT of Food Assistance to Les Cayes
USAID/BHA partner the UN World Food Program (WFP) continues to deliver life-saving emergency food assistance to earthquake-affected communities despite challenges posed by infrastructure damage and continued insecurity. On August 20 and 21, WFP delivered an additional 100 metric tons (MT) of USAID/BHA-funded contingency food commodities—sufficient to meet the monthly food needs of approximately 7,550 people—from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes for onward distribution in the coming days. The DART continues to coordinate with WFP to assess emergency food needs and facilitate the delivery of food assistance to populations in need. Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) imported 9.7 MT of health; nutrition; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) commodities—sufficient to meet related needs of more than 23,300 households for three months—to Port-au-Prince for onward distribution on August 20 with other donor support.
UNFPA Notes Increased Protection Risks Following Earthquake
Populations in southwestern Haiti are facing elevated protection risks following the August 14 earthquake, which has exacerbated vulnerabilities to sexual exploitation and abuse while disrupting local protection referral systems and services, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Prior to the earthquake, UNFPA reports that incidents of GBV were increasing countrywide, and the UN agency was working closely with the GoH to provide support services for adolescent GBV survivors. Subsequently, protection risks facing vulnerable individuals have further increased, particularly for women, girls, and children who have been separated from their guardians either prior to or following the earthquake. Moreover, many individuals continue to shelter outdoors due to concerns of structural collapse, often carrying out hygiene and other activities without privacy or security and, thus, increasing their exposure to protection risks. In response, USAID/BHA and UNFPA have urged relief actors to implement critical protection inventions across affected areas, as well as integrate protection principles to promote meaningful access, dignity, and safety of beneficiaries across other response activities. In addition, UNFPA is working with the GoH to activate and scale up activities of departmental GBV coordination systems, as well as existing case management and PSS services, in southwestern Haiti.