Haiti: Hurricane Matthew - Situation Report No. 14 (21 October 2016)
894,057 children are among the 2.1 million affected people.
112,500 children under five are at risk of acute malnutrition.
2,271 cholera cases suspected between 4-19 October alone.
806,000 people need urgent food assistance.
36 health facilities destroyed.
On 4 October, Hurricane Matthew violently struck Haiti and resulted in the country’s largest humanitarian emergency since the 2010 earthquake. It caused extensive flooding and mudslides, damage to road infrastructure and buildings, as well as electricity and water shortages. The latest figures from the governmental Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) of Haiti have so far confirmed 546 deaths and 438 injured as a result of the hurricane.
Though access continues to be gained to more affected areas, the poor conditions and lack of infrastructure – especially in the rural areas – continue to impede progress to the more remote parts of the country. Humanitarian needs are said to include access to a sufficient supply of quality water, education, shelter, child protection, health, and nutrition. The people in urgent food insecurity are located in areas where over 75 per cent of the population was affected by the hurricane. These include places where livelihood activities related to agriculture, livestock and fishing have been almost completely destroyed, such as crops, farming equipment, stocks, and trade.
Of the 1.4 million people who need humanitarian assistance, more than 40 per cent are children who are mainly in the Grand’Anse and Sud Departments. Another estimated 40 per cent – approximately 546,000 people – are women of reproductive age.
Following the government’s announcement to close temporary shelters with no plans to establish camps, there is a growing fear that displaced people will cause overcrowding in the homes of families and friends, or on the streets. UN agencies have also reported migration from rural areas to the towns as people look for food.
Exacerbating the pre-existing displacement crisis of tens of thousands of Haitians returning from the neighboring Dominican Republic, concerns have increased about the safety of children and families, especially with the increased risk of food insecurity, malnutrition, and vulnerability to violence – including sex- and gender-based violence (SGBV), exploitations, and disease. As of July 2016, an estimated 131,000 people were registered crossing the border towards Haiti, including 34.8 per cent women.
Agencies have expressed serious concerns about the risk of increased violence, exploitation, and abuse against women and girls in Haiti, where a national study on SGBV already showed a significantly high number of SGBV cases prior to the hurricane (see infographic, data source: UNFPA).