Haiti: Floods DREF Operation No.MDRHT006


The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

CHF 50,118 (USD 48,826 or EUR 33,159) has been allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Haitian National Red Cross Society in providing water and essential relief items to 800 people affected by the floods in the communities of Williamson and Carries in the department of l'Ouest. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: On 18 September 2009 several communities in Haiti were deeply affected by heavy rainfall and mudslides. This DREF operation is focused on providing support to the Haitian National Red Cross Society (HNRCS) in order to provide relief assistance to the most affected people.

This operation is expected to be implemented in one month, and will therefore be completed by 25 October 2009; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 25January 2010).

The situation

On 18 September 2009, the community of Williamson in the department of l'Ouest, experienced flash flooding due to heavy rains. The floods caused extensive damage tocrops and property fencing affecting 65 families (296 persons). Fortunately houses were not completely destroyed, however, in some cases affected families lost valuables and personal effects. Water systems which had already been destroyed after the hurricanes of 2008 were contaminated.

Heavy rainfall has been affecting the nearby community of Carries since the second week of September. A total of 23 families (102 persons) were affected. The community of Carries was affected by mudslides due to the heavy rain, resulting in the death of one resident and six injured. The mudslides destroyed 11 houses and severely damaged 12 others. Safe drinking water is not available to these families as their wells have also been contaminated. Health problems have been reported by the health authorities in this community as a result of the emergency. After two weeks, the 23 families are still living in collective shelters (church and school). This community also remains vulnerable following the hurricanes that struck Haiti in 2008.