Haiti: Hurricane Matthew Emergency Appeal n° MDRHT013

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This Emergency Appeal seeks 6.8 million Swiss francs to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Haitian Red Cross Society (HRCS) to assist 50,000 people affected by Hurricane Matthew for 12 months. The response will focus on the following areas of intervention: Health; Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); Shelter (including Household non-food items) and Disaster risk reduction (DRR). The Appeal budget also includes 276,899 Swiss francs to support the IFRC’s role as convenor of the interagency shelter cluster, subject to a decision from the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) on cluster activation. The planned response reflects the current situation and information available at this time and will be adjusted based on further developments and more detailed assessments.

The disaster and the Red Cross Red Crescent response to date

01 October 2016: Hurricane Matthew becomes the strongest storm of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season. Its trajectory is forecast to cross Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and The Bahamas. Red Cross volunteers are placed on standby, along with IFRC and other Red Cross and Red Crescent personnel and assets.

04 October 2016: Matthew makes landfall as the strongest storm to hit Haiti in decades. Torrential rain, floods and strong winds are reported. The Government issues a Red alert and officially requests humanitarian assistance.

06 October 2016: Emergency Appeal launched for 6,852,515 Swiss francs to 50,000 people.

The operational strategy

Needs assessment and beneficiary selection

Hurricane Matthew made landfall on southwestern Haiti as a category 4 storm – the strongest storm to hit the country in more than 50 years. The worst impacts have been reported in the southern departments of Sud, Grand Anse, Nippes, Sud-Est and Ouest, as well as Nord-Ouest on the country’s northern tip. These areas have a combined population of approximately one million people. The UN estimates that 350,000 people are in need of assistance, although detailed assessments have yet to be carried out, in part due to difficulties in accessing some of the worst affected areas.

The Haitian Red Cross Society (HRCS) has pre-positioned non-food items (including WASH and health relief items) and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials for sensitization around health and hygiene promotion in the south and south-east departments. The National Society has mobilized 3,000 volunteers in 14 branches. Volunteers in the South, South-east, Grand D’Anse and Nippes are sensitizing the public and assisting with the evacuation of the population from the at-risk zones.

The HRCS is working in collaboration with the government to further define areas of intervention. The HRCS will focus on the worst affected departments of Sud, Grand Anse, Nippes, Sud-est, Ouest and Nord-ouest. Even though comprehensive damage and needs assessment information is not yet available, health, WASH, shelter (including Household non-food items) and DRR have been identified as key needs based on the information of population density, vulnerability profile of at risk areas, experience from previous in-country operations, the HRCS areas of expertise and the Red Cross Red Crescent capacity in country.

With technical support from the IFRC, the HRCS will select beneficiaries based on the key principles of impartiality, neutrality and humanity. In addition, the beneficiary selection process will follow the Code of Conduct guideline for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in disaster relief. The initial selection criteria presented below are common to all areas of work:

  • Households headed by women, i.e. widows, divorced or separated women without income;
  • Households that have not been beneficiaries or recipients of any substantial assistance from the government and other organizations;
  • Households with person(s) with disabilities and other socially excluded groups;
  • Households with few available coping mechanisms and that are structurally vulnerable to shocks;
  • Households from vulnerable occupational groups and marginalized populations.

Overall objective: The overall objective of this operation is to ensure that at least 50,000 people (10,000 families) affected by Hurricane Matthew in the Sud, Grand Anse, Nippes, Sud-Est, Ouest and Nord-ouest departments receive appropriate assistance in a timely, effective, and efficient manner; and that they are provided with the necessary support in order to recover with increased disaster resilience. The immediate response efforts will focus on the sectors of relief, health and care, water, sanitation, hygiene promotion and shelter.

Coordination and partnerships

The HRCS, with the support from the IFRC and the ICRC, coordinates with the eight Partner National Societies on in-country emergency prevention, preparedness and response activities. This is in line with the IFRC and HRCS’s main objective of providing a coordinated, rapid and effective response. At the national level, the HRCS works closely with the government to support its humanitarian action targeting people affected by disasters. The HRCS is an integral part of the National Disaster Management System (SNGRD – Systeme National de Gestion des Risques et Desastres), and has responsibilities assigned within the system both at the national and departmental level. Close collaboration and coordination of actions with the Department for Civil Protection and other international partners is ongoing.

The Movement has collaborated well with international humanitarian actors, including the in-country United Nations (UN) system. In response to Hurricane Matthew, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has deployed a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team to Haiti. Additionally, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) deployed experts to support the Haitian Ministry of Health on preparedness actions.