Haiti: Hurricane Matthew - Emergency Appeal Operations n° MDRHT013 Final Report

Situation Report
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Description of the disaster

Hurricane Matthew was the largest humanitarian emergency in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. A category 5 tropical hurricane had not formed in the area for nine years, prompting the Haitian government to rapidly activate the National Emergency Plan, the National Emergency Operation Centre and regional emergency operation centres. Moreover, while the Haitian government did not declare a state of emergency, a red alert was issued and international humanitarian assistance requested, and the national presidential elections were postponed until November 2016. The storm was raised to a Category 5 on 1 October 2016 before it weakened back to a category 4.

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on 4 October 2016 as a Category 4 hurricane, causing massive destruction mainly in the departments of Grande-Anse, Sud, Nippes, and Nord-Ouest and to a lesser extent in Sud-Est and Ouest departments. As of July 2017, OCHA reported “1.4 million people among the 2.1 million affected by Hurricane Matthew are still in need of humanitarian assistance”1 . At least 20 percent of the territory was affected. The hurricane brought extensive flooding and mudslides, damage to road infrastructure and buildings, electrical grid and the water system; additionally, the hurricane impacted telecommunications in the affected areas due to the lack of electrical power and damage to both the electrical and telecommunication grids.

The Haitian Red Cross Society (HRCS)’s preliminary assessments revealed a need for a humanitarian intervention in water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH), food and non-food items (NFIs), shelter and health. Furthermore, the HRCS found that water infrastructure damage was massive in the main affected cities and that water sources had been contaminated, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases, particularly cholera. The storm severely impacted Haiti’s agricultural sector, causing food shortages.

The IFRC launched an Emergency Appeal on 6 October 2016 seeking CHF 6.8 million to support the HRCS to assist affected populations. Taking into consideration the scope of the disaster and the needs revealed by the various assessments conducted within the first month of the operation, the members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (the Movement) in Haiti further articulated their efforts for a stronger and better aligned response to Hurricane Matthew.

The process of Strengthening Movement Coordination and Cooperation (SMCC) was followed and led to the signing of a tripartite agreement specifically for Hurricane Matthew Operation, among the National Society, IFRC and ICRC.

That agreement provided for joint Movement intervention strategy in Haiti. Thus, the Appeal was revised to the One International Emergency Appeal for CHF 28.2 million to be implemented by all Movement partners present in country, namely American, Canadian, Dominican, French, German, Italian, the Netherlands, Spanish and Swiss Red Cross Societies, ICRC and IFRC.